by Daily Sabah with Agencies
Mar 24, 2015 12:00 am
The Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TİSK), a leading umbrella organization of Turkish businesses, urged the government to adopt a better plan to curb early school dropout rates in the country, the "highest in Europe."
TİSK released a report on dropout rates based on 2013 figures supplied by the European Commission (EC). The commission's report showed that female students in particular stop attending the school, and 2013 figures also indicate 39.9 percent of female students did not attend high school - or rather "had to drop out." A statement issued by TİSK said it meant that 40 out of every 100 female students lacked higher education, and therefore, employment.
Turkey leads the list of countries in Europe in terms of early school dropouts, surpassing Spain, and one-fourth higher than 10.2 percent - the European Union average.
TİSK said that male students had a relatively higher attendance rate, although at 35 percent, it was still the highest when compared to male students dropping out of school across Europe.
Quoting the EC's assessment on Turkey, the statement by TİSK said Turkey lacked an effective strategy to end the phenomenon of students dropping out of school early, noting that a project inaugurated in 2013 fell short of curbing the number of dropouts. EC officials stress that the project focused on special education and socially disadvantaged students as well as funding their education, while measures lacked in terms of decreasing early school dropout rates among vocational school students.
TİSK said in the statement that figures showed the need for a revision of Turkey's education policy.
Turkey has long been fighting to boost education levels for women. Twelve years of compulsory education was introduced in 2012, and regulations bringing heavy fines for parents not allowing their children to attend school are linked to a drop in the number of illiterate girls. However, Turkish Statistical Institute figures show there are still a considerable number of illiterate women in the country.
The government had also launched a project titled "Women Deserve a Second Chance." The project spearheaded by the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's wife Emine Erdoğan helped over 12,000 Turkish women who dropped out of school to complete their education so far. Turkish women, especially those from poor families, often drop out of schools to earn income for their families. After getting married, they are often stuck raising children, and are mostly unable to pursue education. The project offers free distance learning programs and courses for women to complete their high school education. The government provides financial support for women attending schools and courses, including daycare costs of their children and school fees.