The Maarif Foundation expanded its international educational network and became the flagship of Turkey’s state-supported educational institution abroad. It now has a comprehensive curriculum for all grade levels, from pre-school to high school in its schools around the world, to help get more people excited about the Turkish language.
The foundation’s president, Professor Birol Akgün, said that for the first time in the country’s history they have prepared a curriculum supported by textbooks and other educational materials exclusively for teaching Turkish abroad, which will bring new standards to Turkish teaching in other countries.
Maarif was founded on June 17, 2016 and was commissioned, among other things, to manage schools confiscated by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which were guilty of the attempted coup on July 15, 2016 and which also operates an international school network. Over time, Maarif expanded his reach beyond this simple mission and became an educational juggernaut representing Turkey abroad.
Akgün informed the Anadolu Agency (AA) on Friday that it was contributing to the United Nations Vision 2030 for equitable and universal access to quality education. He added that their curriculum is based on the language and existing curriculum of each country where their schools are located.
“We try to teach Turkish in the best possible way, because this is our main task. It is our mission to introduce Turkish, a bearer of Turkish culture and civilization, to the world, ”said Akgün.
In the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, education took a hit worldwide. Some countries, including Turkey, have switched to distance learning. For his part, Maarif has not interrupted its activities. “We are one of the few institutions that have not stopped their work,” said Akgün, whose foundation looks after 350 schools, including a university, in 45 countries where around 43,000 students study. Today the foundation focuses on building new geographic schools from the Caucasus to Central Asia.
“We shared historical, cultural and religious values with countries in these regions. They have respect and love for the Turkish nation, ”Akgün said, noting that they recently opened a school in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The foundation is also planning to open a school in Baku, Azerbaijan, in September. His plans to open a school in Libya have been suspended for the time being due to the security situation in the country and the coronavirus pandemic.
During the pandemic, Maarif also relied on digital education. For Afghanistan, it produced around 3,000 distance learning videos that were broadcast on Afghan television for students unable to attend personal training.