When students in Turkey begin school today, it’ll be the last time they hear the words “evolution” or “Darwin” in the classroom. Next year, those words will be eliminated from all textbooks as a more religious regime takes control of what kids learn in school.
The actual change was made this past June, when the head of the Education Ministry’s curriculum board, Alpaslan Durmuş, said lessons on evolution would only occur in college because it was considered too complicated for high schoolers.
The fundamental idea tying together all of science is somehow too difficult for most teenagers to understand.
I say that with the awareness that evolution is taught in U.S. classrooms, but it doesn’t mean teachers always understand it, or that their students always come away with proper knowledge. But removing it from the curriculum will only make the problem worse. A 2006 article in the journal Science noted that, of 34 countries, acceptance of evolution was lowest in the U.S. (~40%) and Turkey (~27%).
This is only one of many changes coming to the classrooms, according to the Associated Press, and it’s not just related to the material:
More than 33,000 of the nation’s teachers — about 4 percent — have been purged in a government crackdown after the coup, nearly 5,600 academics have been dismissed and some 880 schools shuttered for alleged links to terror groups.
Many who lost their jobs say the government is using the failed coup as a way to silence its critics.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan supports this miseducation campaign. And why wouldn’t he? Whatever keeps students in the dark will work to his advantage. No tyrant ever benefitted from an educated electorate.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Scott for the link)