Are Turkey’s schools dropping evolution and teaching jihad?

Source: BBC News

  • 22 August 2017
Turkish schoolchildren (file pic)Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe new curriculum will affect five-year-olds, 10-year-olds and teenagers in year nine (file pic)

“In Turkey, education was never secular. There were already obligatory classes on religion. But now, the introduction of the concept of jihad is just horrendous.”

From September Turkey will have a new education curriculum and this 38-year-old mother is among many parents who are worried. The changes affect first, fifth- and ninth-grade students, and the main controversy surrounds the exclusion of the theory of evolution from secondary education.

“In classes, nine- and 10-year-old students have been memorising prayers from the Koran. I believe religious education should be given at home, not in schools,” said the woman, who did not want to be named, due to security concerns.

Other controversial changes include shortening the time allocated to studying the life of Turkey’s secularist founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, an introduction to the concept of jihad and more classes on religion.

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