Kurdish elective courses: There are students but no teachers

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  • 11:16 20 February 2024
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ŞIRNEX - While thousands of students applied for Kurdish elective courses, only 132 teachers were appointed in 12 years. Kurdish Teachers' Initiative Spokesperson Emin Ay said: "We must make a loud demand for education in the mother tongue."
 
Actions and events within the scope of 21 February World Mother Language Day activities were started. Demands for Kurdish to be an education and official language come to the fore in protests and events. However, the demands are not met and teachers are not appointed for Kurdish, which is among the elective courses in schools. The Ministry of Education announced that it will appoint 50 Kurdish teachers this year under the name of "Living Languages and Dialects". According to the data of associations carrying out Kurdish language studies; Only 132 Kurdish teachers have been appointed in the last 12 years.
 
In the 2022-2023 academic year, 24 thousand 368 students chose Kurdish. However, it was not announced how many students chose Kurdish this year. Considering these preferences, it is stated that the number of teachers appointed is very low.
 
ASSIMILATION POLICIES
 
Kurdish Teachers' Initiative Spokesperson Emin Ay emphasized that Kurdish must be embraced. Pointing out that Kurdish, which is given as an elective in schools, is not officially accepted, Ay said: "For example, you cannot write in Kurdish when writing an official document. You cannot speak Kurdish to state officials, even those who speak Kurdish speak by taking the initiative themselves."
 
Pointing out that the state does not have a "positive policy" towards Kurdish, Ay said: "Kurdish is not a language known in the parliament. Many Kurdish theaters and concerts have been banned so far. Bans on Kurdish language, culture and art are nothing new and they will continue to do so. The reasons for these bans is assimilation policies. However, there is also a resistance against these attacks. This makes art, culture and language stronger.”
 
'FAMILIES ARE BEING BLOCKED'
 
Stating that many teachers changed their fields due to the pressure on Kurdish, Ay noted that school administrations prevented families from choosing Kurdish. Ay said: "According to the statistics we have, only 120 teachers were appointed from 2012 to 2023. However, many of these teachers who were appointed with a master's degree in the first years changed departments. There are 79 active Kurdish teachers left. There are many reasons why there are so few of them. One of them is the families' indifference to the language. This situation shows that politics is not interested and this has an impact on families. School administrations do not give selected course forms to families. In fact, when they do, they choose and teach some courses. Unions and teachers are indifferent to the subject and do not raise their voices against the injustice of school administrators.”
 
DEMAND FOR EDUCATION IN MOTHER TONGUE
 
Noting that there will be an increase in the number of appointments of Kurdish teachers if families are insistent, Ay said: "Parties, cultural and artistic institutions, media and unions must unite. We must demand loudly for education in the mother tongue. This increases the prestige of the language. In other words, in order for the language to develop and be effective, children must receive education in that language. Two hours a week is too little. We can defeat all attacks by embracing our language. We must live in Kurdish in every field."
 
MA / Zeynep Durgut
 

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