Religious officials appointed to schools

İZMİR - Education Sen İzmir Branch No. 2 President Veysel Beyazadam, who stated that the social dynamics were manipulated by the appointment of religious officials under the name of "spiritual counselors" to schools, said that this situation would cause psychological and mental problems in children.
Religious men, muezzin, preacher, religious services specialist and Kuran course instructor appointed to 842 primary, secondary and high schools within the scope of "I am Sensitive to My Environment, I Stand Up My Values Project (ÇEDES) under the name of "spiritual counseling" service" with the protocol signed between İzmir Provincial Directorate of National Education and İzmir Provincial Muft. While one-third of the 2,496 schools throughout the city were assigned, the targeting of children, especially during the AKP period, drew reactions from many quarters. The protocol was put into practice with the appointments made in İzmir, İstanbul and Eskişehir.
In the letter sent to the schools, "to contribute to the education of students as individuals who adopt, protect and develop our national, spiritual, moral, humanitarian and cultural values as well-intentioned, sound-hearted and good-natured, physically and socially balanced individuals". It was noted that the “spiritual counseling” protocol was signed.
In addition to the Religious Culture and Moral Knowledge course, which is compulsory education in schools, there are 3 more religious courses that are optional but made compulsory. While the efforts to raise the 'religious generation', which AKP officials frequently use, caused the quality of education to decrease, it also brought many problems with it.
We talked to Veysel Beyazadam, the President of the Education and Science Workers' Union (Egitim Sen) Branch No. 2, of this protocol and its possible effects. Stating that the parents were worried and afraid due to the protocol, Beyazdam said that the reason for this was the past practices of the religious officials appointed to the schools under the name of "spiritual counselors".
Beyazadam said: "Who did the needs analysis and what data was taken as a basis when starting the protocol work. While public workers were the solution for this, people from outside who and what they were unknown were appointed. How much pedagogical formation knowledge a Qur'an course teacher has or how to communicate with students. We do not know that there is a relationship of experience. We think that freedom of religion and conscience is also targeted because this structure, which is always expressed as 99 percent Muslim in the general structure of society, and even imposed on one religion or one sect, actually undermines social peace and tranquility."
Expressing that the government wants to create a “supervised generation” in every field with this project, Beyazadam continued: "When you examine the ÇEDES program in detail, some seminars and excursions, such as clubs inside the school, even outside the school, make the children controllable and observable. The government, which cannot give any hope for the world, tries to suppress the situation of seeking rights or questioning life by directing the youth and children to the other world. The principle of secularism of the Constitution is directly targeted. On the other hand, the spiritual development of children is also targeted. It is very clear that serious depression or mental disorders can occur. We experienced a concrete example of this in the dormitories of the Credit and Dormitories Institution (KYK) last year. People with the same name worked there. At that time, 3-4 young people lost their lives in a week. The main reason for this is the mental and psychological problems they saw. It was pressure. We are worried that these scenarios will happen."
Condemning the definition of the project, Beyazadam said: "These aforementioned features have already been defined in the Basic Law of National Education. What kind of youth should be created in a secular, social state of law, which is expressed in the Constitution, has been defined. The Constitution and the Basic Law of National Education, the Primary Education Law are violated. The dynamics of society are being played with their education. We do not have a problem with people's beliefs. Our main issue is to ensure the freedom of religion and conscience and to protect the Constitutional order. Our law firm is investigating this question and has determined that it is against the law. We will take part in all kinds of initiatives regarding this as well.”
Expressing that the teaching profession has been disabled from a professional point of view, Beyazadam said: "If it is desired to provide psychological and spiritual support in schools, this should be done with psychological counselors and school counselors. The number of counselors is very small. They cannot even find employment in schools, although there should be many in every school. In today's conditions, while there is a need to appoint at least 200 thousand teachers, especially the school counselor, it is not acceptable for them to turn to this path. Again, as Eğitim Sen, we have received many complaints, both locally and at the headquarters, over the protocols signed by associations, foundations and congregations affiliated with the local national education directorates. From time to time, we made them the subject of lawsuits. But it has come back to us with minor changes in its content. We will not stop fighting."
MA / Tolga Güney

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