The rapid increase in population numbers in the TRNC is weighing heavily on the infrastructure of the country and had created problems in the school system, Dogus Derya, member of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has said.
Addressing the TRNC assembly, she said that education policies in primary and secondary schools had been used as “an instrument of social engineering”. Those who were critical of these moves had been turned into enemies by some circles. These issues had been pointed out in the past, she said, but the matter was becoming worse. Derya said that she believed in freedom of religion and conscience.
Noting that giving religious education to underage children is a very sensitive and important issue, Derya said that these activities enter into the realm of child exploitation, contrary to the UN Convention on the Rights of Children.
She argued that some religious associations teach little girls how they will cover their heads and serve men. She added that under the guise of freedom of religion and conscience, only one doctrine is taught.
These kinds of religious courses are outside the schools, they are unsupervised and nothing is done about it, Derya said. She added that at the College of Theology, pressure is exerted on the girls to cover their heads and they are prevented from taking part in sports.
Asking the education minister whether there was any supervision on this issue, Derya pointed out that these will create sociological problems in the future and disintegration of society. She noted that the youth department is by-passed and the students are sent to camps for boys and girls abroad. She asked what this was for, what is the content of these camps, what is the curriculum, where will the children stay and who pays for these excursions.
Referring to the universities in the TRNC, Derya said that there are 17 universities and another 15 are in the pipeline Noting that education should be seen as a service and not as a sector of the economy, Derya argued that substantial incentives are given to the universities and commercial companies use the universities as a “screen” for their commercial activities. In this way, the quality of the university is degraded, she noted.
Derya asked for the number of licensed universities, the conditions for applying to establish a university and what was the infrastructure.