MV Editor’s Note: This article was initially a republished piece from another outlet. After receiving feedback on our Facebook page about the way the facts were presented in that article and some further research we decided to revise it and correct it.
Turkey’s Education Ministry is seeking to improve the nation’s education system by making changes to the existing curriculum.
The latest proposed changes have been made available to the Turkish public for scrutiny and suggestion until February 10 after which the process of producing textbooks is scheduled to begin according to Hürriyet Daily News.
That source also reported that proposed changes included topics such as “Historical Conscience,” “Healthy Living and Aging,” the “July 15 [failed coup attempt] Democracy Victory,” “21st-Century Skills,” “Kemalism,” “Education of Values,” the “National Education Quality Certificate,” the “Turkey Competencies Framework” and “Living Skills.”
The proposed curriculum includes more content than prior versions on areas of religion and civic duty. The topic of jihad, which was present in previous curricula, appears in new sections alongside other subjects like civic duty, public rights, and democracy. The stated objectives of all those subjects, according to the draft curriculum itself, concern nation-building and fostering a sense of civic and religious duty.
While a handful of anti-government and anti-Islam websites, like Cumhuriyet daily and Jihad Watch, have tried to create a stir on the Internet about the inclusion of jihad, the Turkish public, as reported by Hürriyet Daily and other outlets, appears to have only voiced concern about changes related to the nation’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and other significant historical figures as well as proposed changes to content in the life-sciences.
According to Hürriyet Daily News, the Education Ministry undersecretary Yusuf Tekin responded to such concerns by cautioning that, “When evaluating the curriculum, it would be misleading to make comments by looking at a single course in a single grade.”
Many of the proposed changes do appear to be in line with the stated goals of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who is on record declaring that he wants to raise a “pious generation” earning him and his administration the ire of secularists and anti-government activists and institutions across the nation.