Photo: Volkan Furuncu/AA
Signing a protocol with the Ministry of National Education yesterday (February 26), the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) took over the administration of 81 vocational high schools in 81 provinces of Turkey.
The TOBB, getting support from universities, will establish workshops in the schools, give scholarships to successful students and shape the curriculum in accordance with the demands of the private sector.
TOBB Chair Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said that they will provide internship and work opportunities for the students and “the role of the private sector in vocational education will increase.”
Minister of National Education Ziya Selçuk said that the protocol is “pleasing,” and that they are working to do their part in terms of the “2023 goals.”
2023 is the 100th year of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. The Ministry of National Education released a document titled “2023 Education Vision” in October 2018.
“The bosses’ demands are being granted”
Education and Science Workers’ Union (Eğitim-Sen) Chair Feray Aytekin Aydoğan, contrary to the Minister Selçuk, does not find the handover “pleasing.” Speaking to bianet on the protocol, Aytekin said, “The signed protocol contains all the words the capital and the bosses wanted, and all of their demands are being granted step by step.”
Aydoğan asserted that the children as young as 13 will be used as cheap labor under the guise of internship.
“Violation of the right to education”
Aydoğan made the following comments on the situation:
“Especially the vocational high schools which are planned to be opened in industrial zones pave way for the students’ working in slavery conditions. This is a violation of the right to education and a violation of children’s rights. Our students will be seen as cheap labor, additionally, our taxes and public resources will be transferred to the capital under the guise of incentives.
“The private sector determining the curriculum and the TOBB training the teachers and institution managers is unacceptable in terms of the right to education and our profession’s reputation. We also witness the violation of the law as the Council of State ruled in a case we filed that the Ministry of National Education is responsible for the education and that it cannot hand over this responsibility.
“In brief, the protocol that was signed yesterday contains all the words the capital and the bosses wanted, and all of their demands are being granted step by step.
“The basic principle of education is not the needs of the capital”
“Our students’ rights cannot be shaped in accordance with the needs of the capital. The basic principle of education is not the needs of the capital, it prioritizes public good and human. All our students have the right to a quality education that can make them discover their interests, abilities and skills. We reject that TOBB Chair Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu calling our students “personnel” in the protocol that was signed yesterday. We don’t accept the language that describes our students as a cheap labor force and our schools as business places, and that disregards the laborers of education and science.”
According to the protocol, the TOBB, chambers and stock exchanges will establish “R&D and Design-Skills Workshops” in schools, give scholarships to successful students, will provide internship opportunities at workplaces that are affiliated with the TOBB, will train school managers and teachers, renew the curriculum in accordance with the demands of the private sector. (AÖ/VK)