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November 25, 2012, Sunday

Nov. 24 and unappointed teachers

Nov. 24, which was marked as Teachers' Day on Saturday, has brought problems faced by the country's teachers to the nation's agenda again. Undoubtedly, one of the major problems concerning teachers in Turkey is the unemployment problem. Thousands of teachers are waiting to be appointed to a post by the Ministry of Education. These teachers object to temporary service contracts and demand permanent appointments, yet their calls seem to fall on deaf ears as no action is being taken to this effect.

Bugün's Ahmet Taşgetiren says this Teachers' Day was sorrowful for teachers because of earlier remarks from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Education Minister Ömer Dinçer, who told unemployed teachers that they should look for other jobs, and that the state does not have to appoint every one of them to a post. Taşgetiren says it was necessary for Erdoğan and Dinçer to repair their ties with the teachers, and a meeting Erdoğan held with teachers at Dolmabahçe Palace on Saturday was an opportunity to achieve this.

“I believe that Erdoğan will start a new era in his relations with teachers. I think a very warm exchange took place between Erdoğan and the teachers. The education minister is also a teacher, a university professor. He knows the financial circumstances of a man of science very well, and teachers are in a very difficult position in this respect. A new process should begin in which all the problems of teachers will be addressed, and more importantly, teachers should know that there are state officials who understand them, know their problems and, even if they cannot solve the problems, share their sadness,” says Taşgetiren, hoping this Nov. 24 will be a turning point in Turkey.

Sabah's Sevilay Yükselir says although Teachers' Day was joyfully celebrated in many parts of the country, she could not feel this joy due to the situation of unemployed teachers who have been waiting to be appointed to a post for a long time. “If only I could do more for these teachers other than writing this article. These young people have been raising their voices for a long time. And no one is producing solutions for these people,” she says. Yükselir laments that although she was very hopeful about Dinçer when he was first appointed education minister, she became very disappointed due to Dinçer's indifference to unemployed teachers. Appealing to Dinçer, she says she is personally tired of Twitter and e-mail messages she receives from unemployed teachers and called on him to find a solution.

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