OTTOMAN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLS FOR GIRLS, AN EXAMPLE: IOANNINA JUNIOR HIGH FOR GIRLS

Abstract

Author(s): Emel DEM?R GRR

The first Ottoman junior high school (rü?diye) , “Mekteb-i Maarif-i Adli” (School of legal education) was founded in 1838 during the reign of Mahmoud II for boys only. The first junior high for girls, Cevri Kalfa School was founded in January 6th, 1859 and for the first time girls started education at the level of junior high. The number of junior highs increased substantially until 1869 and became the foundations of the education system of the Tanzimat reform era. In 1868, 31 more junior high schools were opened their doors for education in several provinces. A Statute of General Education (Maarif-I Umûmiye) was issued in 1969 to regulate the educational principles of junior high schools. The initiatives commenced in Tanzimat era on improving the status of women in education advanced during the reign of Abdülhamid II, the number of junior high schools for girls increased significantly especially in the provincial Ottoman Empire. Hamidiye Junior High for Girls in Ioannina was among the schools founded in that period. Ioannina Hamidiye Junior High School for Girls, the only girls’ school in Ioannina city center in that period, was founded during the reign of Abdülhamid II. Although the architecture of the school was under the influence of western style, interiors were redesigned according to Ottoman traditions and culture. The ornaments of the school, prayer and parade grounds combined principal features of Ottoman and Islamic tradition. However, there were also certain handicaps hindering the educational process at the school. The biggest trouble faced by Ioannina Hamidiye Junior High for Girls was the unsatisfactory level of education due to insufficient number of teachers caused byeconomical problems, which even led to the halting of educational activities from time to time during this period. Nevertheless, the educational activities of the school pressed on under dire circumstances, and even certain graduates returned to the school as teachers.

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