Turkey: 'Good' response from S. Africa on school plan

<br></p> <p>By Hassan Isilow </p> <p>JOHANNESBURG (AA) – A Turkish foundation said Tuesday it received a “good” response from South African government officials for its proposal to open schools and a university there.</p> <p>“We held fruitful discussions with the Gauteng provincial minister for education and other government officials regarding our intention to open schools in South Africa,” Adem Koc, director of the Maarif foundation in South Africa told Anadolu agency. “Their response has been good so far.”</p> <p>He said the foundation that is responsible for Turkey's education programs overseas is now waiting for the go ahead from the government to start establishing schools to benefit less privileged communities.</p> <p>“We are looking for existing schools from the government or private sector which we shall take over and run as a foundation,’’ he said.</p> <p>Once the South African government gives the green light, Koc said Maarif will establish six schools in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. Other will be located in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein. </p> <p>He said each schools will begin from kindergarten up to high school.</p> <p>“We also have an intention of opening a university in South Africa in the next five years after establishing our schools,” Koc said.</p> <p>Koc said the Maarif foundation is grateful to the South African Education Ministry.</p> <p>“We have similar goals and values with the South African government which is promotion of education,” he said,</p> <p> The Maarif foundation also plans to establish vocational centers to train students and adults in competitive skills.</p> <p>Earlier this month, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) said it was impressed with Turkey’s education model and plans to emulate it.</p> <p>“We have realized that Turkey is advanced in vocational and technical training. Their expertise in technical education can help us shape our education curriculum,’’ ANC spokesman Dakota Legoete told Anadolu Agency.</p> <p>He said the ANC would like to follow Turkey’s model by introducing vocational schools at every higher institution of learning to help equip students with knowledge and life skills relevant to the economy and the world.</p> <p>Turkey values vocational training and has several vocational schools that train students for occupations in line with the targets of the country’s economy and demands of the business world.</p> <p>Vocational education and training plays a central role in preparing young people for employment, developing skills of adults and responding to the labor market needs of the economy.</p> <p>