Education, Side Feature, The Khilafah

The Problem in Education is Not TEOG but Turkey’s Secular Education System

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said “I do not want TEOG (Transition from Primary to Secondary Education exam) anymore and I find it wrong. It needs to be removed. Did we come (arrive at this point) with TEOG? There wasn’t any TEOG at our time. You go to school, your grades are known during the education year and you make progress with those grades. When you reach the university level, you take the [national] university [entrance] exam. Then you enrol in the social or science fields of the university in accordance with your success level.” (Agencies)


Perhaps one of the most problematic areas since the establishment of the Republic is the area of education and training. Over the last 15 years, the AKP government repeatedly introduced changes to education and training. But nothing changed. Changes in the education programs, duration of education, and even changes in the curriculum failed to bring the desired success. And every section of society agrees that there exists a failure in education and training. The President’s statement brought the issue on the agenda again. When will TEOG be removed? Which exam system will replace TEOG if it is removed? Will the problem end with TEOG? These and similar questions were asked, answers were sought.

Ironically this system was introduced as a solution during the periods of a President who today demands its removal. The system to follow is still unclear. However, it is obvious that any change will end in a failure, unless there a fundamental change is made.

The question is, is TEOG the only problem in education? Unfortunately, we cannot say yes! Most of the students who passed the recent university entrance exams could not enrol in any university. 322,000 of those, who passed the exams, did not prefer any of the additional admission quotas provided by the universities. New highly expensive faculties and colleges, with only one lecturer, have been established in an environment where not only the examinees, but also the examiners (Ministry of Education and Higher Education Council) have no clue of what to choose. Populistic attitudes and politically motivated investments have increased the number of buildings and diplomas, but failed in producing people with personalities. Eventually, the highest number among the hundreds of thousands of unemployed is comprised of university graduates.

As long as the education and training system is based upon secular democratic principles, the problems of millions of students will continue to exist. Without an Islamic education system no decision or modification, invented exam, opened classroom, faculty or college, and no incentive or scholarship will be able to produce generations with Islamic personalities, because the education system today is not an Islamic education system. All these problems will only be solved through the implementation of the system revealed to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, who describes it with the term, «وَإِنَّمَا بُعِثْتُ مُعَلِّمًا» “Verily, I have been sent as a teacher” (Ibn Majah).

These concepts and applications imported from the West are not the solution but the cause of the problem. Like in all fields of life, Islam offers also in education and training substantial solutions which lead to the development of society. Through this education system, which taught the Islamic Aqeedah and system of life, which produced science based on empirical knowledge, Muslims became the most developed and leading nation of this world for centuries. And the Messenger of Allah is the best of teachers. In the Dar al-Arqam, he ﷺ raised the best personalities of this world, his companions, by teaching them the Islamic system revealed to him. Mankind has not witnessed personalities like them, neither before nor after them. And the following generations were raised upon the same principles and thus always were the best of nations. Their children and youth became scholars, thinkers, scientists, physicists, chemists, mathematicians, architects, engineers, and politicians. And it is only the Khilafah Rashidah (Caliphate) upon the Method of Prophethood, established as an example by the best of the Teachers, which will implement this education system.


Musa Bayoğlu