The Turkish teachers union Egitim Sen has been joined by thousands of others in a day of action yesterday against government plans to further privatise the school system and to damage democracy in education. The government is planning to gift public spaces to private operators to open schools, in a move very similar to the so-called UK free schools, or charter schools in the US.

In a statement, Egitim Sen says that it sees this as part of an ongoing process of privatisation of education in the country and says moreover that they are against privatisation because 'it is a violation of the human right, that education is a right for all children.

The new law is also an attack on educational democracy insofar as school managers, who are at present elected by their school communities, will now be sacked and replaced by political appointees.

Egitim Sen is calling for solidarity from teachers all over the world. Go here to find out how to send a message.

Below is pasted the full statement from Egitim Sen:

On 26 February 2014, our union, Egitim Sen (Education and Science Workers’ Union) organized a national strike action against the new darft on “Amendments of National Education System Law” which has been discussing on Turkish Parliament during these last days. Thousands of education and science workers from all provinces of Turkey but also thousands of people from other labor and vocational organizations joined the strike for protesting and rejecting the new draft law on education.

 

Within the new legislation; Turkish government aims to transform all private courses into private schools. Government will provide public areas to build new private schools for private courses. However; there is no obligation for payment. Private courses could use public areas free in order to build new private schools. According to our union; it is a part of privatization process of education in Turkey. With this way; public resources will be transferred to privatization by government. We are against privatization of education since it is violation of human right which is that education is a right for all children.

 

There is another important regulation which is about managers of schools. Government aims that all school managers who has already been working for four years will be dismissed. The future of almost 40.000 managers of schools is unknown. Government plans that school managers will be appointed by governors of provinces. It will cause huge problems since if this draft will be adopted by parliament, political decision makers start to appoint managers of schools. This is so anti-democratic. Our union demands that all of the managers of schools should be elected by all participants of schools.

 

The parliament is still discussing this draft for adoption. Turkish Government and Ministry of Education disregard our demands. We will continue to fight for our basic democratic rights. We call for all education and science workers in the world for resisting privatization of education and political intervention on school managers in Turkey.