18 million schoolchildren set to start new academic year
Nuran Çakmakçı – ISTANBULAs many as 18 million students in preparatory, primary, elementary and high schools all across Turkey are set to begin the 2015-16 academic year on Sept. 28, as the three-month summer holiday comes to an end, daily Hürriyet has reported.
Around 1,136,000 of them are expected to begin preparatory schools, the educational institutions children under the age 6-7 attend before beginning formal education, while some 1,200,000 will be first-grade students in the academic year starting on Sept. 28.
The number of teachers who will start the 2015-2016 academic year on Sept. 28 will be around 900,794.
While how the academic year will start in Turkey’s eastern and southeastern regions, which have seen rising violence over the past two months, remains unclear, authorities at national education directorates in districts and provinces in the regions say the necessary security measures have been taken in regard to the concerns of local teachers, many of whom have been newly appointed to schools in the regions.
In Istanbul, meanwhile, around 3 million school-aged students are expected to start the 2015-2016 academic year at kindergartens, preparatory schools, primary schools, elementary schools and high schools in the transcontinental metropolis, Istanbul National Education Directorate head Muammer Yıldız told the state-run Anadolu Agency.
At least 3,077,816 school-aged students, 128,000 teachers and around 6,000 schools are set for the 2015-2016 academic year, Yıldız said.
Yıldız said 200,000 of the students in Istanbul would start the new academic year as first-grade students and that nearly 2,000 teachers had been appointed to schools in the city.
“Those who want to prepare for the university entrance exam will be able to attend public education centers for free,” Yıldız said, remarking on how high school grads will prepare for the university entrance exam with the closure of prep institutions which provided private courses for high school grads to prepare for universities and colleges in Turkey with a ruling issued by Turkey’s Constitutional Court.
Yıldız said the National Education Directorate in Istanbul was proposing a new practice at the beginning of every academic year.
A course on Istanbul will be taught and a popular author will get together with students in Istanbul every week as part of the new practice called “Authors in Schools,” Yıldız said.
Yıldız also said there were 48 education institutions for Syrian migrants living in Istanbul and that around 5,000 Syrian students were attending schools in Istanbul.