Curriculum Changes: Elective Religion

Three to four hours of elective religion classes have been added to the national curriculum (click here). I’m not sure what the previous situation was, as it had undergone some changes over the past years. I believe Islam was already an elective part of the curriculum, but I don’t know for how many hours or what the content was. The new elective courses are quite time-consuming for a school curriculum that is far behind in teaching math, science, and a lot of other things (3-4 hours of religion electives are possible), but one of the courses does plan to teach about different religions and beliefs (including Christianity and Alevism). It would be interesting to see the textbook for that class.

The Ministry of Education recently announced the new weekly schedule for secondary schools, which included new elective courses on the Quran, the life of Prophet Mohammed and Essential Religion Information for high schools…. [The first two] classes will take up two hours each week while Essential Religion Information, Social Activities and Project Preparing electives will take up either one or two hours of a student’s academic schedule per week.

Classes will primarily be taught by religion and morals teachers as well as imam hatip high school teachers. Students will not bring Qurans to school for the lessons, the report says, but female students will be able to cover their hair during Quran courses. The Ministry of Education’s official textbooks for the class will include the necessary texts from the Quran, while the elective class will not focus on the interpreted version of the Quran but the text itself.

Different religions and beliefs including Alevism and Christianity will be taught in the elective Basic Religion Information class. Furthermore, Quran and the life of Prophet Mohammed classes will not be taught in minority schools. Minority schools will instead offer classes about the minority groups respective religion, the report emphasized.

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