Friday, July 24, 2009

Victory for Graduates of Imam-Hatip Schools

From Jenny White at Kamil Pasha:
Graduates of theological high schools and other vocational schools will now be able to enter college on the same basis as graduates of academic high schools. On Tuesday, the Higher Education Board’s (YÖK) General Council abolished the system of using a lower coefficient to calculate the university admission examination (Student Selection Examination [ÖSS]) scores of graduates of vocational high schools. Entrance to a college and field of study is decided exclusively by the student’s score in a single nation-wide exam, leading to an entire separate industry of private cram schools that remains unaffected by this ruling. In the old YÖK system, graduates of vocational high schools had points deducted from their admission scores when they applied to a university department unrelated to their curriculum. This system made it more difficult, for instance, for an imam-hatip high school graduate to gain entrance to medical school than a student from a normal high school with the same ÖSS score.
Professor White goes on to explain the formation of imam-hatip schools and the lower co-efficients, as well as to note that the reform will have little impact on türban-wearing women whom are restricted from entering public universities. For coverage from Today's Zaman, which has a pro-headscarf perspective, click here.

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