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CultureChristmas, Easter and Halloween banned in private schools in Turkey

Christmas, Easter and Halloween banned in private schools in Turkey

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The Ministry of Education in Ankara has changed the rules for private schools in Turkey. It prohibits “activities that contradict national and cultural values and cannot contribute to the psychosocial development of students”. The ministry has sent a warning letter to schools about celebrating Christmas, Halloween and Easter as early as December 2023.

A new amendment and supplement to the Ordinance on private educational institutions of the Ministry of Education was published in the State Gazette yesterday. Accordingly, a new type of institution called a “center for social activity and development” was designated, where academic development training for secondary school students would be conducted along with social, cultural, artistic and sports activities in accordance with their interests, desires and abilities .

With the new regulation, curricula implemented by international private educational institutions, excluding those that implement Turkish curricula, and all types of teaching materials used in the implementation of these curricula will have to be approved by the Education and Disciplines Council in Ankara.

With the change made regarding the annual working calendar and working hours of the school, it is taken into account in the implementation of a separate working calendar to take into account matters related to the general functioning of education and training, such as central examinations. According to the new provision, activities contrary to national and cultural values and which would not contribute to the psychosocial development of students cannot be carried out.

It is mandatory to teach in schools according to textbooks approved by the Ministry.

Following news in some Turkish media in December 2023 that “parents complain” about Christmas, Halloween and Easter celebrations held in private schools, a letter titled “Social activities to be held in educational institutions” was sent , to all provinces by the Director General for Private Educational Institutions at the Ministry of Education, Fethullah Guner.

The order in question requires private schools to organize all activities in accordance with the general and specific goals and basic principles of Turkish national education.

Illustrative Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev: https://www.pexels.com/photo/orange-pumpkin-beside-the-glass-window-5604228/

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