Turkish Education Ministry approves project to build prayer room in every school

The Turkish Ministry of Education has approved a project launched by a religious  foundation to have a prayer room in every school across the country, Turkish news site Oda TV reported.

The İnsan Foundation project "No school without a prayer-room," which was launched in 2016, will kick off with the building of prayer rooms in 90 schools throughout İstanbul, foundation chairman Metin Baksi said.

The project, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, has been announced on billboards in multiple cities, according to Oda TV.

“ Our project has been approved by the Ministry of Education and communicated to governorates… We began the project in 2016, however, received a formal approval this year. Up until today, we have already built about 15 masjids [prayer rooms] but there are 90 more applications pending. We will build 40 more. In schools which have a masjid, the religious studies class will be taught in the masjid,’’ Baksi said.

The government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been vocal in its goal to forge a “pious generation” in predominantly Muslim Turkey, with millions of dollars being pumped into religious education. The number of students in the country's Imam Hatip schools - used to train clergy - have risen five-fold to 1.3 million students in six years.