Turkey's state-supported Maarif Foundation has announced its readiness to invest some $20 million to revamp and revitalize a chain of Turkish schools in Afghanistan.
The Çağ Education Foundation, which ran these schools in Afghanistan, has been accused by Ankara of having links with the July 15 coup attempt, which left 249 people dead and some 2,200 others injured.
FETÖ has funded its terrorist campaign in part through networks of private schools across the globe.
Following the defeated coup, Ankara asked Afghanistan as well other countries to transfer FETÖ-linked networks of schools to the Turkish government.
Kabul in March initiated the process to hand over the Çağ chain of schools to Ankara and its Maarif Foundation.
Mucip Uludağ, Maarif's top official in Afghanistan, said they have been making preparations and are excited to take part in Afghanistan's education system.
"We will provide formal and informal education on the basis of common accumulated knowledge and the values of humanity in line with its founding principles as well as provide scholarships to students, open facilities such as schools and dorms, and train lecturers who may be employed by such facilities," Uludağ said.
An estimated 8,000 boys and girls are enrolled at the schools located in major urban centers such as the capital Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, and Sheberghan.
Along with improving the quality of the existing schools in line with international standards and high technology, the Maarif Foundation seeks to increase the number of the schools all around Afghanistan, and focus on improving the quality of education there.
There has, however, been some opposition to the handover decision from the schools' former faculty members.
Syed Mohammad Hashim, a member of the Wolesi Jirga (lower house), is studying the issue for the government.
Hashim told Anadolu Agency the findings would be shared with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. He added that the Turkish government has promised to invest up to $20 million to improve the quality of these schools.
A number of parliamentarians called for separating political issues from education.
In March, some deputies said the people of Afghanistan were happy with the existing Turkish schools, and the government should pave way for them to spread to more cities.
Prof. Birol Akgün, the head of Turkish Maarif Foundation in Ankara, has vowed to immediately provide the required assistance without causing any delay in the teaching and learning process at the existing schools.
Prof. Akgün stressed that with the schools, Maarif is determined to build a trustworthy, reputable international brand in education.
"We believe that we are the successors of the 600 years of Turkey's educational traditions, and we want to employ this accumulated knowledge in our educational endeavors. We want to become an institution that conveys this historical accumulation to Afghanistan's educational system," he said.
Akgün said the foundation has started education programs in 10 Asian countries and will soon expand to more.
"In the schools we've assumed in Asia, we will develop strong relationships with universities in Turkey in the health sciences, social, technical and vocational fields, and culture and communication. We have taken some steps in Afghanistan and other Asian countries in this respect," he said.
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