Over 70 pct of religious school graduates regret İmam Hatip education – survey

Over 70 percent of graduates from Turkey’s İmam Hatip’s regret having received their education at the government-endorsed religious high-schools, according to a survey conducted by the religious Ensar Foundation.

While 73 percent of graduates of the school say they would not study at the institution again if they were given a choice, 68 percent of current students said they were unhappy with studying at a İmam Hatip and undecided about their future, Birgün newspaper cited the study as saying.

Under the 18-year leadership of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, himself an İmam Hatip alumnus, the schools to train Islamic clergy have catapulted in number - from 450 when he came into power, to over 5,000 today.

Only 38 percent of respondents said they chose to attend İmam Hatip schools on their own volition, while 51 percent said they made the choice at the request of their families, the Ensar survey found. 

Moreover, 44 percent of respondents said they chose İmam Hatip schooling after failing to score high enough in the national high-school placement examination for the school of their choice. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said they chose the schools because it “reflected their beliefs.”

The survey arrives days after an announcement by Turkey’s education ministry that the occupancy rate of the Islamic schools is at 99.8 percent.

A total of 87 percent of those who listed the Islamic schools as one of their top three preferences were accepted into an İmam Hatip school, Education Minister Ziya Selçuk said on Twitter on Monday.