Turkish education system lacks in many aspects, report says
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Children are not only suffering from the current exam system, but also from an inefficient learning process, as nearly half of students under 15 years old are unable to solve basic math problems, according to an annual education report.
Entitled “Monitoring education system report 2010,” the report released Tuesday said that despite some new policies implemented by the Ministry of Education, imbalanced conditions remain in every aspect of the system and the university exams, language of the education, as well training programs for teachers.
The exams are the most obvious problem, but there are deeper issues in the education system disabling students from reaching information and their potential, said Batuhan Aydagül, a coordinator at the Education Reform Enterprise, or ERG, that prepared the report.
“According to International OECD Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, Turkey is ranked 32nd in scientific literacy among 34 countries,” said the report.
Only 1 percent of Turkish students were found to be at the required level for their age group in science and literature, the PISA report said, adding that 30 percent of the students are unable to use their skills to answer basic questions in these subjects.
Calling on the authorities to escape temporary solutions on the issue, the report emphasized that one of the problems of the Turkish education system is to find sufficient teachers. Teachers need to be provided with more extensive and improved training and need to be supported regularly in order to reach the most efficient results, the report said.
Experts, while targeting policies of the Ministry of Education, said that despite spending billions of Turkish Liras on education technologies, new policies did not help to improve the main philosophy to develop the structure. “Between 1.5 million and 3 million liras were spent on the project called ‘The Increasing Opportunities and Improvement of Technology Movement,’ or Fatih, however as they settled the technology without researching how these projects could merge with the current education programs,” said Aytuğ Şaşmaz one of the project specialist, during the conference.
Professor Üstün Ergüder, the director of the ERG said education in mother tongue should be allowed as their report indicated some students quit secondary school education due to the language problem.
“Many students cannot be trained in Turkish as they speak Kurdish at home causing these people to quit their education,” said Ergüder.
According to Aydagül, the school administrations should be decentralized to help problems be solved in the easiest way. “Ankara is trying to solve a heating problem in one of the schools dwelling the Eastern province of Elazığ, which is absurd,” said Aydagül.
Professor Ergüder said the central administration straitjackets school administrations by not giving freedom to the school managers or teachers to develop solutions against the problems that they face with.
Urging the Ministry of Education to be transparent on the developments, Ergüder said these reports will improve the structure of the education system.
© 2011 Hurriyet Daily News