Due to the coronavirus outbreak in Turkey, the distance education oriented Education Information Network (EBA) system has moved towards face-to-face training in the 2020-2021 education period. Accordingly, distance education will now take place for three days per week.
Visiting a primary school in Çankırı in Ankara on the first day of the face-to-face educational year, the Minister of National Education Ziya Selçuk stated that the tablets that will be used for this format of education will be distributed to 500,000 students. However, according to Mesopotamia Agency, parents stated that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) members who came to give tablets to the students for use in the distance education system stated that they required parents to be a member of the AKP before they would give the tablets to the students.
A similar situation was reported in the city of Van in an area – the İstasyon neighbourhood in İpekyolu district – where 200 families have been living in containers since the earthquake. AKP members who went to the ‘container city’ reportedly asked families to become AKP party members before their children could receive the tablets for schooling. Except for a few families, most other families reacted to the AKP members’ requests and were shocked.
Rasim Acar, one of the residents, said: ”They said they would distribute the tablets but, in return, they required families to become members of the AKP and asked for their identity information and photographs”.
Stating that some families accepted this offer with the hope of receiving tablets for their children, Acar said: “They do not have the right to coerce people to join the AKP in this way by threatening people”. He added: ”The harsh living conditions here are obvious. As if this is not enough, they come and use this situation to pressurize us in this way. Whatever my political opinion is, a political party has no right to threaten me in this way. How much is a tablet worth? They don’t know you and your will”.
Süheyla Yıldız, one of the residents who has lived in the ‘container city’ neighbourhood for nine years, said: “We are poor, they come and benefit from our situation in return for work, money or tablets”.