"Only The Teachers Speak At School”
By holding meetings on issues such as “children and crime”, “children and gender”, Basak Culture and Art Foundation in Istanbul constitute a platform for children to listen to each other and question what they listen.
Basak Culture and Art Foundation in Istanbul is holding meetings for 9 months to constitute a platform for children to listen to each other. Gender, children and crime, the nation and nationalism issues have been discussed at the meetings so far.
The functions of these meetings are obvious when we listened to the children participated the meetings:
"Everybody can talk and listen to each other even though I couldn't talk sometimes. I am so lucky to be here, because only the teachers speak at school " says Devrim.
Fırat explains his aim to join these meetings as follows: "I was not able to express myself. I learned to express my views on a topic; I learned to find the right idea, taking into account other considerations"
"I overcame the prejudices of men"
Elif is talking about the effects of meetings about gender: "I was always silent at the class. However after we discussed gender, I played football with male students and proved that girls can also play that game. Initially they opposed, but then they accepted and respected. They had some prejudices but I overcame them."
Fırat is talking about an awareness process: "I noticed that we were discriminating against girls unconsciously"
Hasret attended the "children and crime" meeting where Convention on the Rights of Children was read:
"I didn't know the rights of children before coming here as a child under the age of 18. I knew that I had the right to go to school, do what my family wants me to do, wear the clothes my mother prefers. Here, I learned that I have freedom and I learned my rights."
"Nationalism is different from the way it was described before"
"There are lots of problems in the society and lots of question marks over people's minds" says Ronahi.
"We all need to find a solution to make the right decisions. I did not only depend on my own ideas but also tried to find a solution by taking the other people's opinions into account."
The issues discussed in Basak Culture and Art Foundation meetings are based on the proposals of the children.
Fatoş wishes the meetings would continue in this way: "I learned a lot at the meetings. I realized the importance of gender. I learned I could struggle against oppression.I noticed that nationalism is different from the way it was described before at school. I learned the rights of children. I hope the meetings will last in this way" (YY)
İstanbul - BIA News Center
25 May 2012, Friday