“All the Turkish teachers and administrators have left Pakistan and the schools are being run by Pakistanis,” said one of the parents Syed Amir Abdullah. He added that the government still seemed hell bent on ruining these institutions by handing them over to an ‘infamous organisation’ which has no experience of running them.
Parents of students of Pak-Turk schools and colleges blasted the Pakistan government for handing over the education system to a Turkish nonprofit organization called Maarif Foundation. They said that the schools and colleges would suffer if handed-over to the “poorly-equipped and infamous” Maarif Foundation.
The Kano-based Islamic group also cautioned the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against its planned involvement with the government of President Recep Erdogan of Turkey in the setting up of the NGO in some Muslim countries, saying such a body could end up as a vehicle for spreading intolerance and extremism in the world.
Despite tremendous efforts exerted by the government, only a few countries have given in to pressure from Ankara over the shutdown of Hizmet-linked schools, with a majority of them refusing to meet the demands of the Turkish government.
At the heart of the matter is the question of Maa’rif’s credentials to take over the schools instead of its Pakistani management. Turkey is least known for its standard of education. Moreover, the Erdogan-backed organisation is neither experienced in the education field nor apolitical. The organisation is already scared with allegation of child sexually abuse in Turkey.
The motive behind Maarif Foundation is to use it as a tool to pressurize African countries to transfer ownership of Hizmet movement linked schools to the Maarif Foundation since the request for the closure of these schools were turned down for lacking in merit.
What is the sense in advocating for the transfer of investments of private individuals to a government backed NGO? Is President Erdogan indirectly telling African leaders that his empire in Turkey extends to African countries hence the outrageous demand? From the preceding, it is clear that President Erdogan has little or no respect for African nations hence this anomaly. I also beg to state here that the politics of Turkey should be left in Turkey.
Maarif, the foundation that Pak-Turk schools to be transferred to, was set up by Turkish parliament and is an education foundation based on divisive political ideology and racism. It is founded by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Turkey to consign AKP’s partisan mentality and political ideology to Islamic and developing countries.
Mrs. Osuji said Hizmet Movement schools, otherwise known as Turkish schools, are contributing to the development of education in Nigeria and other African countries. She urged African governments to resist any plot by the Turkish government to undermine their sovereignties and respectability by accepting its disguised order to hand over the Turkish schools to Maarif Foundation.
The Maarif Foundation, established by the Turkish government in order to compete with Turkish schools abroad established by Gülen movement sympathizers, has received approval from Saudi authorities and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for financial support for Maarif schools abroad, a Turkish news portal reported on Friday.