School's out for summer in Turkey

School's out for summer in Turkey

With the 2017-2018 academic year coming to an end, almost 18 million students across Turkey started their three-month-long summer holidays Friday.

Around 1.2 million teachers will now attend a series of training and seminars this month before their summer holidays begin on June 22.

The 2018-2019 school year will begin on Sept. 17, 2018, and end on June 14, 2019.

The final day of the year saw the distribution of report cards, end-of-year parties and various other celebrations.

Politicians also took note of the day, with presidential and parliamentary candidates promising to do more to improve students' lot if elected.

The Republican People's Party (CHP) presidential candidate, Muharrem İnce, said he hoped all the students would get to relax until the start of the new school year.

İnce, a former teacher, said if elected, he will give students TL 500 ($110) on every Oct. 29 Republic Day and May 16 Youth Day. He added 10,000 students would be sent abroad every year to study at the most prestigious universities around the world.

For students with low grades, the end of the second semester means a dressing-down and in some extreme cases, corporal punishment from parents. In families with a history of domestic violence, the fear of being beaten at the hands of violent parents pushes some students to suicide.

Psychiatrists warn parents against the strict punishment of children due to poor grades. They urge parents to take a balanced approach toward report cards, neither rewarding nor punishing excessively for high or low grades. They also suggest spending more time with children during the summer break.