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Turkish Maarif Foundation schools to reduce tuition fee by 20% without laying off teaching staff

January 21, 2019

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A press conference was held by Maarif Foundation's executive board member Mahmut Mustafa Özdil with  country director in Pakistan, Selahattin Batur, also present. — Photo by author
A press conference was held by Maarif Foundation's executive board member Mahmut Mustafa Özdil with country director in Pakistan, Selahattin Batur, also present. — Photo by author

After having formally taken control earlier this month over all educational institutions previously linked to Fethullah Gulen's organisation, the Turkish Maarif Foundation (TMF) announced on Sunday that in compliance with Supreme Court's orders, it will be reducing tuition fee by 20 per cent without laying off any teaching staff.

A press conference was held by Maarif Foundation's executive board member Mahmut Mustafa Özdil with the country director in Pakistan, Selahattin Batur, also present.

Özdil said that the foundation of a new educational system would be laid for the promotion of peace, justice, and development. He expressed the organisation's desire to provide opportunities to students to advance in life with a "clear mind, knowledge and understanding".

The management official further informed journalists that underprivileged and orphaned students who demonstrate extraordinary aptitude will be provided free-of-cost education and also given other facilities.

He said that following the Supreme Court's orders, TMF's teachers and students have access to numerous opportunities in Turkey.

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Also, according to higher education legislation in Turkey, all students of the TMF schools are exempted from tuition fees of state universities.

Özdil said teachers will be provided remuneration, advancement opportunities, and job security based on their skills and experience. He revealed that currently 1,000 teachers were working across 26 campuses.

He said there were many long and short duration training programmes — including a comprehensive three-month course — that teachers could avail to better equip themselves with the requisite knowledge for teaching.

Batur noted that Pakistan and Turkey have always stood together in difficult times and share ties "beyond politics".

The Supreme Court had instructed the government in late December last year to declare Gulen’s organisation a terrorist group and ordered handing over of the schools to the Maarif Foundation.

Turkey had established the Maarif Foundation in 2016 after a coup attempt. It was tasked with taking over the administration of overseas schools linked to Gulen’s organisation. It also establishes schools and educational centres internationally.