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Education in Turkey

As a candidate country, Turkey is going through the EU harmonization process for harmonizing the EU Acquis and implementing the EU rules and standards. The most recent projects of the Ministry of National Education focuses on  promoting social policy implementations and disseminating educational reforms to provide equal opportunities for each Turkish citizen for better implementations of fundamental rights. During this process Turkish Education System is being promoted through different projects and reforms. The projects named as “Increasing Primary School Attendance Rate of Children, Fight Against Violence Towards Children, Promoting Gender Equality in Education” is only one step of this process.

 

The basic feature of the principle of gender mainstreaming has been defined by the EU as “The systematic consideration of the differences between the conditions, situations and needs of women and men in all Community policies and actions: this is the basic feature of the principle of “mainstreaming” which the Commission has adopted.

 

Education and training have a major importance in securing gender equality in society. Ensuring the gender equality in education is a necessary duty for the Turkish government according to principles pointed out by both international and regional agreements and declarations. Gender equality in education, however, has many limitations and meets with various obstacles. These obstacles come from the cultural codes both in society and in schools. Even today there are limitations especially for girls for what they can do or can’t do as a woman, beginning from the top of the system to the bottom.

 

The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers’ recommendation on “Gender Mainstreaming in Education (2007) 13” will be used as a reference. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is convinced that the most effective way to promote gender equality is through education. With this aim this project tries to find solutions for many headlines of the recommendation including; Education policies and support structures, school governance and school organization, course programmes, school curricula, subjects and examinations, teaching materials, educational and career guidance, preventing and combating sexist violence and media. Therefore Gender issues must be mainstreamed throughout educational planning – from infrastructure planning to material development to pedagogical processes. The full and equal engagement of women is crucial to ensuring a sustainable future for the whole society.

 

In terms of increasing school attendance rate; although the eight years of primary education is compulsory for all Turkish children, there are still a big number of students not completing their basic education and this possesses a big problem for Turkish education system. In order to find a radical solution to this problem and ensure all children to attend and complete the school equipped with necessary skills, the recent policies on education mostly focus on increasing access to primary education. This focus is very well reflected and prioritized in the national strategies and plans of the Ministry of National Education. However, there is still a need to reflect this commitment into implementation level that is complemented with required institutional capacity building activities.

 

Various studies and many researches have done to gather information about why students are not attending or dropping out school. The results show that the reasons for leaving education early are very much specific to the individual. In addition to this, there are a wide variety of determinants and a wide range of influential factors like school environment, psycho-social support systems, family environment and legal framework and infrastructure. It is clear that there is not a simple solution of this problem; however “the emphasis should, in all cases, be placed on early-identification, prevention and individual follow up of those at risk of non- attendance and drop-out.” Taking early identification and intervention measures for the ones who are at a risk of not attending or dropping out school is significant. Because the ones missing out basic education can not upgrade their level of knowledge and promote their skills and competences that are quite necessary to be actively involved in labor market. In addition to this, early school leavers are challenged in their ability to develop personally and socially, and are at increased risk of poverty and social exclusion. Because of all these reasons, this project is important to reinforce the right of the children for education.

 

On the other hand, violence is another growing social problem across the globe. Children experience the violence in their homes, in schools, in places of work and in their communities.  Turkish Parliamentary Research Commission’s report (by Turkish Grand National Assembly) determining precautions and investigating the violence tendency dramatically growing in schools has stated that; “To remove all types of violence from our young people, every administrator, parent, even media have responsibilities.

 

According to the report of research commission for secondary schools in 2007: The rates of facing physical violence is 22 %, verbal violence is 53 %, bullying is 27.7 %, and emotional violence is 36.3 % Additionally 10 % of the students hurt and  27.4 % of the students attempt to hurt themselves. Another conspicuous rate, the frequency of existing violence among the primary schools is 3.69 %, secondary schools is 28.56 %, high schools is31.95 %, Vocational Secondary Schools is 25.61 %. ; According to the same research, also students’ mood are investigated which revealed that 6.2 % of them is bad, 3,2 % of them is very bad.

 

“EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child” states that “Advocacy and support for the capacity building measures for those who work with and for children to enhance the protection of the children from violence and prevent, detect and respond to all forms of violence against children.” All the institutions working with and for children (MoNE, Social Service Child Protection Agency (SHÇEK), and other related organizations) must be backed up with trainings, cooperative measures, and similar activities for building their capacity on preventing, detecting and responding to all forms of violence against children.

 

It is of great significance for the implementations of the projects that the service contract has been well structured. Therefore, short term technical consultancy support is needed for the preparation and revision of ToRs of three projects. 

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