The New School Term in Turkey started this week and with the new term starts a new Education System in Turkey which has been called the 4+4+4 system. This system extends mandatory schooling from 8 years to 12 years.
The new system has come under fire as many feel the new system has been rushed through and the infrastructure to carry out the new system is not in place. This includes not enough classrooms and schools to accommodate the 17 million students in Turkey. With only 800,000 available teachers with an additional 40,000 new teachers starting this term.
picture taken from konhaber
The new split in the schooling years also sees the introduction of vocational classes starting at 5th year. Where Children and Parents can choose from a list of classes, the most controversial class being “The Quran and the Life of the Muhammad” where girls are also permitted to wear their headscarves during these classes. Other classes on offer including Maths, English and Science.
These vocational classes are only available if there are 10 or more students requesting one of the classes.
We also see the change in the starting age for children attending school. Up until this term children would start school around 80 months or between 6 ½ to 7 years. The age for starting school has been lowered to 66 months. Many parents think this is too young an age for children to start school feeling that they have not develop the right skills to begin school. However this brings the school age in line with most of Europe including the UK.
Some parents have requested doctors notes so their children do not begin class at 66 months claiming they do not have the required mental state to begin school. Around 4% of those aged 66 months did not begin school at the start of term.
The next and probably one of the most controversial parts of the new system is the option to homeschool your child after year 8. Some have criticised this move saying some parents will remove their children especially daughters so they can work at home or in the fields and won’t receive any further education. Many see this as a step backward and not forward in the education of children.
With so many children attending school with an additional 1.6 million of 66 month olds. The schools are struggling to accommodate all classes within the school day. These schools are having to work a two half system. Meaning many children around the country will begin school at 7am and finish around midday. With the second half of the school starting around midday and will not finish school until 6:40pm.
There is also some controversy about class size, some are reporting smaller class sizes, while other reports are saying that in some classes there are up 50 or more in a class. With limited amount of schools and classrooms, this means that some 66 month classes must join with 80 months which of course will bring about learning issues between the two age groups.
As with all systems there are always problems at the start, as there will be those that are for and against. What remains to be seen is how the issues are addressed, especially the overcrowding of schools and classes and the lack of teachers. And if the new system will help to improve the education of children in Turkey.
We can only hope the education system is a step forward in improving education in Turkey and not a step back. After all the future of Turkey relies on the education of the next generations!
Do you have child at school in Turkey? What is your opinion on the new system? Would you consider home schooling your child after 8 years? I want to hear your thoughts and opinions on the new system so please comment below.
© 2012 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.