Our Questions to Minister of National Education, Ziya Selçuk, on the Rights of Children Living in Deep Poverty to Education
The measures implemented in response to the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases resulted in a switch to e-learning on 23rd March 2020. The 2020-21 academic year will start again with e-learning on 31st August 2020. However, we are deeply concerned for students that are forced to combat deep poverty and continue with their schooling at the same time in a country that has already not been able to secure equal opportunities in education. We are concerned for the educational life and therefore, the future, of children who have not heard of EBA Tv at all, cannot access EBA Tv even with a television, cannot take part in live classes due to their lack of access to a tablet or PC, falsely assume that the school was off early, or have started working during the pandemic due to circumstances of deepening
The Minister of National Education, Ziya Selçuk, officially announced the launch of e-learning on 31st August and the switch to formal education with “willing” families sending their children to school on 21st September. We have some questions for him:
-> Have you received any information to indicate how many children living in deep poverty have left school and started working during the pandemic?
-> You will offer workbooks to children who have no access to Internet or a TV; who will assist children living in deep poverty with illiterate parents in their studies? How will you know for certain that such children do not go out to collect wastepaper?
-> Has the MoNE collected any information from schools on how many children could not receive e-learning during the pandemic?
-> What types of measures will be implemented for children at risk of leaving school due to their absence in e-learning?
One photograph from our house visit on 29th August 2020; this is the TV in the household of two students. Their mother earns their living by selling paper tissues. They do not have access to the Internet, nor to a tablet or smart phone, and their mother is illiterate. But the children wish to become medical doctors. How will these children be provided with access to their right to education? #EqualityInEducation
This photograph is from our house visit on 28th July 2020; three children are schooled. The mother found the TV in the thrash; it was already faulty, and it does not work at all now. Children had been going to school regularly until March 2020, but now they cannot go on with their education due to their lack of access to EBA Tv.
The problem is not only about the Internet infrastructure. They do not have access to the Internet, nor a PC or a TV to follow EBA; there are no adults in the household that are able to follow up their studies or that are literate. On the other hand, schooling offers a way for them to remove themselves from their current conditions of poverty, to break this cycle.
The right of these children to education is under protection by way of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as the Constitution. So, why are these children blatantly forced out of the education system?
Credits for Translation in English / İngilizceye çeviren: Gökçe Katkıcı