Students forced to pick religious school as option in new high school entrance system


According to a guide for Turkey’s newly-implemented high school entrance examination system, middle school students must chose Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan-endorsed imam hatip religious schools as one of their options when selecting choices for high schools, Turkish Sözcü daily reported.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) replaced the Turkish high school entrance exam, known as the Transition from Primary to Secondary Education (TEOG), last year after Erdoğan said he found the practice to be wrong. A new a single open-ended style exam has replaced the previous multiple choice evaluation called the Entrance Examination for High School (LGS).

 According the published guide for the new LGS system, students who are to list their choices for  high schools between July 2-15 must pick an imam hatip religious high schools as of their options, Sözcü said.

‘’The guide indicated that students who don’t select an imam hatip school will not have access to a screen which lists ‘’quality’’ high schools,’’ Sözcü said.

Erdogan, who himself is an İmam Hatip school graduate, has said he aims to create a pious generation of Muslim Turks who will help lead a social and economic transformation of the country. The number of students at Imam Hatip schools, used to train clergy, have risen five-fold to 1.3 million students in six years with 6.6 billion liras being allotted for İmam Hatip schools in 2018 alone.