Turkey’s Plans to Abolish Private Tutoring Centers Arrests Free Enterprise and Democracy

NEW YORK, November 25, 2013 – The Alliance for Shared Values considers Turkish government’s proposal to abolish fee-based private preparatory courses for admission exams and free private tutoring centers as government overreach and categorically opposes it.

 

This unprecedented action:

1. Contradicts core principles of free enterprise and democracy: All major stakeholders from across the political spectrum have expressed opposition to this legislation. If enacted, it will make Turkey the only “democratic” country in the world to abolish a whole category of private enterprise, which employs more than 100,000 teachers and staff and serves millions of students.

2. Fails to address underlying need and raises questions about government’s motives: These centers fill a hole in Turkey’s education system as the limited high-quality educational institutions are not enough to meet the needs of all students. Attempting to abolish these centers without addressing the underlying need not only curbs free market and restricts the students’ right to receive education beyond their schools; it also raises questions about the government’s political motives.

3. Limits equal opportunity and paves way for recruitment to terrorist organizations: Children from low-income families use these centers to enter top public schools as they compete with those who can afford individual tutoring and expensive private high schools. Without these centers, opportunities for them will diminish as they will lack the life-changing education that leads to careers in medicine, law, business and engineering. Many of these tutoring centers serve youth who are targets of recruitment by terrorist organizations which operate around the border in east and southeast Turkey.

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