More schools abroad, less students per teacher among education goals
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULSep 09, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Sep 09, 2015 12:00 am
The National Education Ministry has set out a five-year plan to reform Turkey's education system. Among the goals it hopes to achieve is opening more schools abroad and decreasing the number of students per teacher in the country.
The government, credited with sweeping reforms to the education system ranging from a change in university admission exams to handing out tablets to students for a more digital education experience, sets new goals expected to be achieved between 2015 and 2019.
The five-year road map aims to boost access to education for disadvantaged students, increase the share of private institutions in education and boost the number of state-run schools abroad.
One of the major goals is to increase the number of years individuals attend school or education programs. According to the 2014 report, this number is an average of 7.6 years in Turkey, lower than many other countries and the ministry aims to increase it to an average of 9.1 years by the end of 2019. Pre-school attendance is another area the ministry will focus on, bringing the percentage of students with at least one year attendance to nursery schools to 92 percent from 56.3 percent.
The ministry also plans to decrease the number of students per teacher from 19 to 15 in its efforts to end the phenomenon of overcrowded classrooms, especially at schools with a shortage of teachers.
As for schools abroad, the ministry aims to increase their number to at least 73 from 66 in the five years. The move aims to counter the vast network of schools in various countries by the shady Gülen Movement, which is accused of attempting to overthrow the government in Turkey. Schools in Asian and African countries and in other parts of the world operated by the movement are seen as sources for recruiting people to the movement led by U.S.-based Fethullah Gülen.
Another issue the education system faces is early dropouts, especially female students forced to drop out either for underage marriages or for economic reasons. Last year the dropout rate was 38.2 percent.