The Ministry of National Education is taking action in order to increase the quality of foreign language education offered in the nation's school system. According to the new system, foreign language education will now be brought ahead by two years and started in second grade, contrary to the current system, which begins offering foreign languages in fourth grade. The new curriculum adopted by the Ministry of National Education will also include a language proficiency rating system which will be implemented for high school students.
Students beginning high school will now be taking an examination to determine their level of foreign education proficiency. According to their results, students will qualify for beginner, elementary, pre-intermediate or intermediate classes. Instead of focusing heavily on grammar, curriculum will now place emphasis on ability to self-express and on pronunciation.
According to the Ministry of National Education's newly drafted weekly class schedule, as of next year the hours devoted to foreign language education will be increased in both elementary and middle school education.
The hours designated for the required Turkish course in first and second grade will be decreased, while a course devoted to national folk dances and traditional celebrations as well as a course on human rights, patriotism and democracy have now been included in the class schedule.
MATH COURSES TO BE INCREASED
According to the new class schedule, the mandatory Turkish course will be designated 10 hours of class for first and second grade, eight hours for third and fourth grade, six hours for fifth and sixth grade and five hours for seventh and eighth grade. The current curriculum provides four hours of mathematics courses a week for grades first to eighth. This number will increase to five hours a week in the new class system. As a result, in eight years of schooling, the new class schedule will have added an additional 288 hours of mathematics lessons. The total number of hours of mathematics provided in the Turkish education system will also surpass international averages by approximately 90 hours. Another alteration in the new curriculum will be that students will begin taking science courses one year earlier, which will increase the total hours of science courses taken by students through their elementary and middle school education up by 180 hours, reaching international levels.
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