Thousands of newly qualified teachers are still facing years of unemployment, despite shortages of teachers in public schools. In the latest incident, 1500 Kurdish language teachers who left their jobs and achieved an MA to allow them to teach Kurdish …
Thousands of newly qualified teachers are still facing years of unemployment, despite shortages of teachers in public schools. In the latest incident, 1500 Kurdish language teachers who left their jobs and achieved an MA to allow them to teach Kurdish in secondary schools are still unemployed after two years, despite a hunger strike which lasted 18 days. In an apparently ironic gesture the government has appointed 18 teachers – the rest are still unemployed.
The right for children to learn and be taught in Kurdish is one that the education union Egitim Sen has fought for consistently over the years. As a result it has gone through long periods of oppression and even illegality under various Turkish governments. The treatment of these teachers is of a piece with many other attacks on teachers and their union in Turkey, including the recent incarceration of Egitim Sen leaders and the demotion of principals for their supposed political affiliations which we reported on recently. Teachers and their union have also been in the forefront of the struggle for democracy in the country.
At least 27 teachers have killed themselves over the years, in despair as they wait either for a permanent contract of for any teaching job at all. One teacher said of his unemployed collegues: ” Their demands are simple: they want to do their jobs. They want to develop the country.They want to share what they have learnt with their students. The country needs teachers but teachers are jobless because of the wrong policy.Thats why we are protesting all around Turkey: we want everbody to live an honorable life.”
To read more on all these stories about teachers’ struggles in Turkey, go here.
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