Turkey unveils new school curriculum excluding evolution theory

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Ankara, July 18 (IANS) Turkey announced a new school curriculum on Tuesday that excluded Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, the Teachers’ Union said.

Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz said the main elements of evolution already underpinned the science curriculum, but there would be no mention of Darwin’s landmark theory until university, Xinhua news agency reported.

The chairman of a teachers’ union described the changes as a huge step in the wrong direction for Turkey’s schools and an attempt to avoid raising “generations who ask questions”.

Opposition Republican People’s Party lawmaker Mustafa Balbay said any suggestion the theory was beyond their understanding was an insult to high school students.

The curriculum, effective from the start of the 2017-2018 school year, also obliges Turkey’s growing number of “Imam Hatip” religious schools to teach the concept of jihad as patriotic in spirit.

“The new policies that ban the teaching of evolution and requiring all schools to have a prayer room destroy the principle of secularism and the scientific principles of education,” he said.

–IANS

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