Yeni Şafak’s Yasin Aktay is critical of the latest YÖK decision, even though YÖK’s recent moves -- such as abolishing the coefficient system, which used a lower coefficient to calculate the final score of vocational high school graduates’ university admission examination -- have been welcomed and praised a great deal. Yet, the latest decision on arts and sciences students is totally unfair as these students have very limited job options. If YÖK prevents these students from becoming teachers, then it should offer them new professional areas. Aktay also notes that the coefficient system, which was introduced during the Feb. 28, 1997 coup period, was unfair and much criticized because it was getting in the way of vocational high school students’ dreams. Today, the same thing is happening to arts and sciences students.
Yusuf Kaplan, another columnist from Yeni Şafak, also expresses his criticism and concern over the new decision, noting that we always complain about the problems in our educational system, yet we continue to make the problems bigger by making the wrong decisions, like the latest one. Instead, as with recent educational improvements, in which elective Quran courses have been added to school curriculums and the coefficient system has been removed, we should think of ways to further improve the system. Kaplan suggests that firstly, the domination of Western ideas in school curriculums should be changed. “For example, Western philosophy is taught in all philosophy courses in high schools; it is the same with art, history and sociology courses. The West is the source of both the content and the methods of these courses. How is that not an imperialist educational system? Think about it; it would be called insanity to teach Chinese or Islamic philosophy, history, art or sociology in Western schools,” Kaplan says. YÖK’s new decision regarding the arts and sciences students will continue to be a target of criticism until it is reversed, but the problem regarding the Western domination of our curriculum, although it is much more critical, may be ignored for a long time as it is never pointed out by academics or educational experts. It is a shame, Kaplan highlights, calling for more attention to this issue.