"We are right and we will pursue our rights to the end"

Western Thrace
Sun, 17 Sep 2023 18:07 GMT
In the statement of the Board of Councillors and Parents' Association against the imposition of shift education in Xanthi Minority Secondary School and High School, the just struggle was emphasised.
"We are right and we will pursue our rights to the end"

"We are right and we will pursue our rights to the end" was stated in the statement of the Board of Councillors and Parents' Association against the imposition of shift education at Xanthi Minority Secondary School and High School.

In the statement, the process and the meetings held as a result of the imposition of shift education by the secondary education directorate since the opening day of the schools were included in detail.

The press release issued by the Committee of the Xanthi Minority Secondary School and High School and the Parent-Teacher Association is as follows

"PRESS RELEASE

First of all, we wish that the 2023-2024 academic year will be beneficial to all our children, teachers and parents.

Despite the fact that no one has heard about the building problem of the Xanthi Minority Secondary School and High School, the authorities' closing their eyes and plugging their ears to this situation, as well as their efforts to add new problems to the existing problems, unfortunately, continue unabated.

While we thought that we were starting a smooth academic year this year, we regret to say that interventions and impositions are again being made without consulting us, and it is claimed that these impositions are being made to improve the quality of education our children receive.

As a result of the consultations with the school administration, the School Council and the Parent-Teacher Association, after determining that our students will easily fit in all classes, all parents were informed on Friday 8 September that our school will only be a morning school.

Unfortunately, when the first bell rang on the first day of school on Monday 11 September, our school administration was sent an instruction by the Director of Secondary Education that our school had to work in shifts (morning-afternoon) this year. Since the letter containing this instruction concerns the Board of Councillors in every aspect (school building, transport of the students who were told to come at noon), the school administration forwarded the aforementioned letter to the Board of Councillors. In response to this letter, the Board of Councillors expressed all the reasons one by one and clearly stated that the situation that was being imposed was illogical and meaningless. The following justifications were presented in the reply letter.

- Our parents are the first ones to demand the abolition of shift training.

- The number of students has decreased to less than 600.

- The distribution of students to classes can be done easily and there are no problems in the functioning of the school.

- Our school completed the academic year with 674 students in 2017-2018 and 685 students in 2018-2019 with only morning classes. This year our student number is 593.

- In the 2019-2020, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic years, we switched to shift education and the number of students who came only in the morning was 658, 630 and 599 respectively. The number of students this year is 593.

- The Municipality of Xanthi has repeatedly requested a container class from the Municipality of Xanthi, although there is space in our annex building, but no positive approach has been encountered.

- As parents, no one wants our children to receive an education in better conditions more than us.

- The fact that such an imposition took place on the first day of school on Monday 11 September with the first bell ringing in the morning cannot be considered benevolent at all.

The letter in response to the Directorate of Secondary Education of Xanthi was distributed to the Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs and Sport, the Regional Directorate of Education, the MPs of Xanthi, the Prefecture of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace and the Municipality of Xanthi.

As can be seen, they act as if our request for a building, which has existed for years, was not within their knowledge, as if we are very satisfied with the condition of our school building, as if the only problem of our school building is the presence of basement classrooms, and as if they think more about our children than we do, and with the excuse that we are doing you a favour, we are improving the quality of education your children receive, and with an unacceptable brazenness, they both create problems and claim that they are doing you a favour.

The most important indication that all these actions were taken with bad intentions is that on Friday 8 September, despite the existence of an e-mail sent to the parents by the school administration, the owner of a foreign language course, who has nothing to do with the school, told a parent that "I have spoken to the relevant places" and that there will be shift education in the minority secondary school. This again shows that someone took a decision in our absence, without consulting us. The fact that the decision taken was shared with people who have nothing to do with our school before us and our school administration, we leave to the appreciation of the public opinion.

Immediately after the written reply to the letter sent by the Director of Secondary Education, the members of the Board of Councillors met with the Director of Secondary Education to discuss this issue, but no result was reached. While the efforts of the members of the Board of Councillors to resolve the issue were continuing, on the evening of the same day, the Director of Secondary Education called our school Principal by phone and instructed him, in violation of the law and with a pedagogically inappropriate attitude, not to take the third grade students of the Secondary School to class on Tuesday morning, 12 September. The Board of Councillors prevented the implementation of this unlawful instruction. On the morning of 12 September, despite the fact that the Committee of the Council, the Parent-Teacher Association and the parent of our school, MP Hüseyin Zeybek, once again informed the Director of Secondary Education that this decision was unacceptable, the Director of Secondary Education of Xanthi insisted on his decision. Later on, the Director of Secondary Education called the school administration and informed them that he would visit the school at 14:30 to inspect the classrooms in the basement and after visiting the school and inspecting the classrooms in question, he agreed that three of the five classrooms could be used. He was informed that an appointment had been made with the Regional Director of Education for Eastern Macedonia and Thrace to discuss the matter and that he would be informed of the situation. Following this meeting, the Board of Councillors and the Parent-Teacher Association invited them to a meeting on Wednesday 13 September at our school in order to convey this issue to the parents of the middle 1st grade and to determine a road map. On Wednesday 13 September, a delegation consisting of members of the Board of Councillors and the PTA met with the Regional Director of Education of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace in Komotini and explained to them one by one all the reasons why there should not be noon classes after all students fit in the existing classes. After listening to the delegation, the Regional Director of Education stated that he wanted time to make his decision and that he would announce his decision later. On the same day, the Board of Councillors and the Parent-Teacher Association met with the parents of the middle 1st grade class and discussed the process in all its dimensions. The decision that came out of the meeting and the common opinion of all the parents was that no midday education was not wanted and that whatever was necessary should be done in this direction. On the morning of 14 September Thursday, and despite the fact that no verbal or written response had yet been received from the Regional Director of Education of Eastern Macedonia Thrace, the Director of Secondary Education of Xanthi, at around 9:00 a.m., when the first class hour was about to end, called the Principal of the school and instructed him to take the 3rd grade students out of their classrooms and send them home, that these children should come back in the afternoon and that if they did not come back in the afternoon, they would be marked absent. It is obvious that this unlawful and unbecoming of a civil servant instruction given over the phone was given to create problems without taking into account the fact that there are students from the remote Balkan village of Ilıca in our school, the way in which these students will return to their homes and the way in which they will come to school in the afternoon, and the fact that some of these students will have to travel 220 km on the same day. While the Board of Councillors and the PTA are waiting for an answer from the Regional Director of Education of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, we leave such an unreasonable behaviour and unlawful action of the Director of Secondary Education to the appreciation of the public opinion. Of course, this unlawful instruction was not fulfilled and no student was sent from our school. After all these developments, since the issue has taken on very different dimensions and now concerns all the parents of our school, all parents and student representatives were called to a meeting on 15 September with the joint decision of the Council Board and the PTA. On 15 September Friday evening, the members of the Board of Councillors, the members of the Parent-Teacher Association, the representatives of the Muslim Turkish Minority of Western Thrace and the parents came together in the sports complex of the school and as a result of their long consultations, they unanimously decided to support the boycott to be initiated by the students starting from Monday 18 September.

We are right and we will fight to the end.

COUNCIL OF THE MINORITY SECONDARY SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL OF ISKEÇE

THE PARENT-TEACHER ASSOCIATION OF THE MINORITY SECONDARY SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL OF ISKEÇE"

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