World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey's government has started the work required to shut down Regional Primary Boarding Schools (YİBOs) across the country where around 120,000 students receive an education, the Radikal daily reported on Wednesday.
YİBOs are boarding schools for children ages 6 to 14 who do not have easy access to education close to their homes and whose families are financially unable to send them away to school or pay for their transportation to schools further away. All the needs of students of these schools, including accommodation, health care and school expenses are paid for by the state, including a small amount of pocket money.
According to the Radikal daily, the government is working on a project that involves shutting down the boarding schools and instead provide transportation for the students to schools closer to their homes.
Government officials have said there are two many reasons for shutting down the boarding schools. The first being that there is a safety issue, especially for those studying in the eastern provinces, due to possible exposure to propaganda spread by terrorist organizations operating in areas where the schools are located. Officials say a second reason is that they do not want to see children separated from their parents.
The 450 facilities YİBO currently operates will be turned into public schools and possibly small universities if the project goes ahead as planned. YİBOs came into spotlight in 2010 when eight students at one of the YİBOs in Siirt, aged 13 and 14, allegedly raped two toddlers, killing one of them and injuring the other. This was not the first time that YİBOs have been embroiled in sexual harassment and rape allegations. There have been other cases in which teachers were the assailants.
Turkish Education Personnel Union's (Türk Eğitim-Sen) Chairman İsmail Koncuk stated that closure of those schools may be a problem for economically disadvantaged families. “Most families who are not financially stable cannot provide the same level of education and quality of life that the state has been able to provide,” said Koncuk. He also added that many students would likely not continue to go to school even if there was transportation provided, since they would not be able to afford school materials.
YİBOs were first established in 1939 for the purpose of education of the students who lives in the rural areas and do not have any schools in their villages. There are currently some 10,000 teachers employed by these schools. The cost for the state per student attending a YİBO school is TL 6,000 annually according to the Ministry of Education. Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Hüseyin Çelik also graduated from those schools.
Last Mod: 22 Mayıs 2013, 22:53