The education system in Turkey is based on examinations
In Turkey, "examinations" form the basis of the education system. Transitions to both universities and high schoolsare actualized in accordance with the central examinationscores. The education system in Turkey is arranged within the context of the education law no. 6287, which was accepted in 2012, dividing the education into three 4-year stages (also known as 4+4+4).
HOW MANY YEARS DOES COMPULSORY EDUCATION TAKE IN TURKEY?
Compulsory education takes 12 years.
HOW MANY STAGES DOES THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN TURKEY CONSIST OF?
The first 4 years (1., 2., 3., 4. grades) cover primary school, the second 4 years (5., 6., 7., 8. grades) middle school and the last 4 years (9., 10., 11, 12. grades) high school education. However, there is no compulsory school attendance obligation through the last 4 years (9, 10, 11, 12), the high school education. Students are free to attend to open high schools, where they can follow lessons remotely. In those high schools giving distance education, approximately 1.5 million students are currently studying.
WHAT IS THE COMPULSORY SCHOOL STARING AGE IN TURKEY?
The compulsory education starts for all children turning 66 months by September,as schools open. Families are also free to register their 60-66 months old children to 1st grade. The parents of children between 66, 67 and 68 months have the right to send their children to pre-school education instead of 1stgrade. Yet,children older than 69 months are obliged to start to 1st grade. But if they get a medical report, the child attends to pre-school education institution instead of 1st grade.
IS PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION COMPULSORY IN TURKEY?
No, there is no obligation for pre-school education; it is discretionary. According to the 2014 data of Ministry of National Education (MEB), the schooling rate among children between the ages 3-5, is 32.68 percent.
ARE THERE SCHOOLS GIVING RELIGIOUS EDUCATION?
By the acception of the law making compulsory education continuous for 8 years in 1998, all high schools’ –including private foreign schools- middle school sections were closed. Among those schools, there were also ‘imam hatip’ middle schools, which predominantly gave religious education. By the acception of the law in 2012, imam hatip high schools’ middle school sections were reopened. Students can continue attending those schools after the initial 4 years. However, due law reopening imam hatip middle schools did not give the foreign private schools the right to reopen their middle school sections.
By the law dividing the education into 4-year portions; new elective courses - 2 hours each per week, such as The Life of Hz. Muhammad, Koran and Basics of Religion were added to the curriculum,starting from the 5th grade. Considering the fact that compulsory religion classes start from the 4th grade, classes with the content of "religion" were increased to 8 hours per week, beginning from middle school. At many schools, administrators led their students to select these classes.
ARE THERE ANY KURDISH LESSONS?
After the 2012 law, Kurdish lesson was also accepted as an elective course - for the first time. Elective courses such as Laz, Adığece, Abkhasianang Georgian languages were also placedin addition to Kurdish lessons.
ARE THERE ANY EXAMINATIONS FOR TRANSITION TO TURKISH HIGH SCHOOLS?
8th grade middle school students are being placed to high schools in accordance with the new system called Transition from Primary to Secondary Education (TEOG), which was started by the 2013-2014 academic year. In Turkey, the 6 types of state high schools and some private schools (including foreign private schools) admit students by examination.
WHO HOLDS TRANSITION TO HIGH SCHOOL EXAMINATIONS?
These examinations are held centrally by the Ministry of National Education (MEB). Students annually take a total of 12 examinations for 6 lessons, which are Science and Technology, Math, Turkish, Turkish Republic Revolution History and Kemalism, Foreign Language, Religious Culture and Moral Knowledge. The placement scores are calculated by adding the 6., 7. and 8. classgrades to above examination results.
WHO IS IN CHARGE OF PLACEMENTS TO HIGH SCHOOLS?
Students prepare a preference list and MEB centrally places the students in accordance with their preferences and their scores.
HOW DO PRIVATE HIGH SCHOOLS ADMIT STUDENTS?
Placements to private high schools are made in 4 different ways:
FIRST GROUP: The calculations made by MEB are considered and the placements are made by MEB.
SECOND GROUP: Schools, including private foreign ones, consider the results of some lessons included in the central examinations. They announce the scores themselves and admit the students themselves.
THIRD GROUP: Admits its students without taking any examination results into consideration.
FOURTH GROUP: Admits its own middle school graduates to its own high school, notwithstanding any examinations.
WHAT IS THE LANGUAGE OF EDUCATION AT HIGH SCHOOLS?
French, German and English education are provided in foreign private schools. In Turkish private schools and some state high schools, the education language is Turkish, English, German and French.
ARE THERE EXAMINATIONS TO ENTER UNIVERSITIES IN TURKEY?
Senior high school students and high school graduates get into universities in Turkey in accordance with the results of two phased central examinations. Students who can get a passing score in the first stage of the examination, ‘the transition to higher education examination’ (YGS), can move onto the second phase. Students who get a passing score in the second stage of the examination, ‘undergraduate placement exam’ (LYS) can prefer undergraduate programs of universities.
HOW ARE STUDENTS PLACED AT UNIVERSITIES IN TURKEY?
Higher education institutions admit students in two ways. One of them is the preference lists, which students prepare according to their YGS and LYS results. The Measuring, Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM) which holds the examinations place students at universities in accordance with their scores. Students are placed at 2 year associate degree programs by their YGS scores and at 4 or more years of undergraduate programs by their LYS scores.
The second way of placement is by the examinations held by the universities themselves. Universities select students for departments such as interior architecture by special talent examinations. Those who can get a passing score at YGS examinationare entitled to take these exams.
HOW MANY TYPES OF UNIVERSITIES ARE THERE?
In Turkey, there are foundation universities established by non-profit organizations and state universities founded by the state itself. According to law, private universities cannot be opened in Turkey.
Petek SAMATYALI (Translator) firstname.lastname@example.org
Fotoğraf: Yaşar Üniversitesi