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Evolution theory to be removed from Turkish high school curriculum

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Turkey has expunged Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution from its new national curriculum draft, which will be released after the Eid break, the education ministry has announced.

Alpaslan Durmus, the head of the ministry’s curriculum board, told educators during an Ankara seminar on June 20 that the ministry had presented the draft to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has approved it.

“We have excluded controversial subjects for students at an age [that they are] unable yet to understand the issue’s scientific background,” he said.

The “Origin of Life and Evolution” section, which Durmus described as “controversial,” will be removed from biology classes in high schools starting in 2019.

“As the students at ninth grade are not endowed with antecedents to discuss the ‘Origin of Life and Evolution’ section in biology classes, this section will be delayed until undergraduate study,” DurmuĊŸ said.

Academics from top universities in Turkey previously criticised the prospective move, telling the education ministry that the only country from which evolutionary theory was excluded in school education was Saudi Arabia.

“The subjects of Science and Technology classes in elementary schools should be presented with a perspective that allows students to connect it to subjects they will encounter in future years. It should provide them with an evolutionary point of view,” the academics stated, adding that evolutionary biology information should be included in the curriculum starting from fifth grade.

Among other curriculum-related topics, Durmus addressed on June 10 was “Religion and Morality” classes. The ministry official said the obligatory classes will not be included in the curriculum of first, fifth, and ninth graders, but students would be able to choose religion classes as an optional course if they wish.

“We have undertaken a simplification in the curriculum. It is one of our targets to realise complete learning. In educational programs, we are trying to convey basic values, information, skills, capability, sufficiency, attitude, and good behaviour to our children. We have tried to add our local and national values to the curriculum,” he added.

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Muslim Global: Evolution theory to be removed from Turkish high school curriculum
Evolution theory to be removed from Turkish high school curriculum
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