by Mustafa Shahin
There are many debates and
discussions on the Gulen / Hizmet Movement and educational activities
carried out by people inspired by the ideas of Mr. Fethullah Gulen.
However it looks that available information on the web and elsewhere
lack a clear set of guidelines in understanding and explaining what
Gulen inspired schools and what the main educational principles of these
institutions are. In this paper I’d like to explore 10 key factors in
the success of the Gulen inspired schools. The first of these key
principles is that most Gulen schools are boarding schools. The
following is about the benefits of “bed and board” option offered at the
Gülen inspired schools and why it is an important element of these
First and foremost, majority of Gulen
inspired schools are boarding schools serving in the under-served parts
of any given country. These schools intend to provide students with a
safe educational environment free of distractions that may occur from,
among others, dysfunctional families, economic instability, social and
cultural problems. Lets analyze these factors one by one.
the schools that offer boarding for those students who request to stay
in the dorms enables resident students to have access to a 24 hour
education on campus. In the countries where offering dorms for 6-12
students are in line with local laws, these students can continue their
educations even after a local school day ends in the afternoon.
these schools, many students prefer boarding option over the day school
option voluntarily. Because, otherwise these students would have gone
to underage child labor outside of the school hours. With the boarding
option these students are given the opportunity to stay in the school
campus and join the after-school programs.
schools is also a great opportunity for many students coming from
dysfunctional families where one of the parents might be abusive due to
alcohol, drug addiction or other reasons. Studies show that students
from dysfunctional families are very satisfied with the boarding option
where they can be free from stress etc that negatively impact their
For many students in the
underdeveloped countries malnutrition is one of the prime reasons why
students under-perform in the classes. Families who cannot afford to
feed their kids, through boarding schools can provide their kids a
Room and Board option is also
beneficial to students who come from low income neighborhoods where
education is not seen as a viable option in a rewarding life. Excess of
illegal activities and crime in these neighborhoods limit the ability of
students to appreciate the importance of education.
these negative conditions Gülen schools that offer room and board is a
viable alternative for many students who do not have any way out.
Source: Hizmet Journal - 1/8/2013