Eylem: Ministry of Education Will Be Responsible for the Chaos in Education
Selma Eylem, the President of the Cyprus Turkish Secondary Education Teachers' Union (KTOEÖS), made a press statement following the start of the 2023-2024 school year, stating, "The Ministry of Education will be responsible for the chaos in education."
In her written statement, Eylem emphasized that education is the most important and reliable tool that shapes the future of a society. She alleged that outdated impositions from Turkey were being attempted to be implemented in the country.
Eylem criticized the lack of new school construction, limited resources, and the absence of staff appointments. She stated that, on the contrary, mosques, religious complexes, and theology programs were being opened, book contents were being made more religious, curricula were being Islamized, and teachers were being employed from Turkey.
She claimed that attacks against teachers and unions known for resisting these impositions and attacks have increased. Eylem stated that in the struggle against these impositions and attacks, plans to unlawfully deduct salaries and eliminate the right to strike have been made. She criticized the Ministry of Education for planning to increase the number of lessons without addressing infrastructure, equipment, and resource issues, and without considering the difficulties that students would face.
Eylem noted that implementing educational innovations through pilot schools, testing and then expanding them is a scientific fact, and criticized the Minister of National Education for not sharing which pilot program he was referring to in his statement.
KTOEÖS President Eylem said, "Although we proposed making pilot applications in selected schools, observing and reporting problems with a joint commission, the ministry and the UBP-DP-YDP government did not take this into consideration, clearly showing that the real intention is neither education nor quality."
Eylem emphasized that they would continue to resist and fight against this understanding that attempts to suppress rights and freedoms with unilateral decisions that disregard teachers and their unions.
She stated that they do not accept the system that wants to confine their children and teachers to containers for 2 days and 9 hours, a system where their children will have inadequate and unhealthy nutrition, go hungry, face security and transportation problems, and announced that they are not conducting afternoon education in all schools.
Eylem asserted that the Ministry of Education would be responsible for all the chaos that would arise during this process. She called for solidarity among all teachers, school administrators, and students, and invited parents and children to support this action.
She concluded by stating that they would continue their struggle for a qualified, scientific, democratic, free, public education system that respects the rights and freedoms of all individuals who make up society, regardless of religion, language, or ethnicity, and believes in a system based on the rule of law and a democratic way of life.