The Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Union (KTÖS) were on strike at the Şehit İlker Karter Primary School, İskele Maarif Kindergarten, and İskele Dr Suat Günsel State Primary School between 8 am and 12:40 this afternoon.
KTÖS Secretary General Burak Maviş said that they wanted the public to be aware of the problems and realities experienced by foreign students at schools and put forward proposals.
Maviş stated that there is a serious deficiency in the education system for foreign students. “The Ministry of National Education is falling short in providing support to schools and teachers in this regard,” Maviş is cited as saying.
Maviş pointed to the importance of urgently developing a training program on Turkish teaching and harmonization for foreign students, opening orientation (adaptation/practice/language teaching) classes at kindergarten and primary schools according to student density, and the training of teachers for this purpose.
Maviş recalled that the Minister of National Education said that this year, a Turkish Proficiency Exam will be held at the primary and secondary level, and that students who fail this exam will not be able to attend the classes, and students who do not attend paid courses will not be admitted to the school.
Maviş said that this was a discriminatory approach. Maviş pointed out that the Minister’s statements are against the principles of “generality and equality” and “the right to compulsory education and training” of the National Education Law.
“A MAJORITY OF FOREIGN STUDENTS ARE IN ISKELE
KTÖS Secretary General Burak Maviş noted that students from 44 different countries studying at public primary schools are non-native Turkish speakers adding that the ratio of foreign students whose mother tongue is not Turkish at primary schools is 8%.”
Stating that there is a rate of 10 per cent or more of foreign students studying at least at 15 primary schools whose mother tongue is not Turkish; Maviş noted that the school with the highest rate is in the Iskele region with 40 per cent. Maviş said that the average of foreign students in the Iskele region is 41 per cent.