Nearly two million children in Turkey did not register at a school for the 2016-2017 school year, according to the Education Ministry figures, daily Birgün reported on Sept. 14.
The ministry said a total of 1,973,874 children, including 935,832 girls and 1,038,042 boys did not attend school last year, based on the released figures.
According to the figures released on Sept. 8, a total of 17,702,938 students in elementary, middle and high school received formal training across Turkey. Of this total figure, 14,731,376 attended public schools, 1,217,755 private schools and 1,735,807 were enrolled in distance education.
The schooling rate for elementary schools was the lowest among the last 10 years, as it hit 91.18 percent, daily Birgün said. A total of 4,972,430 students received primary school education across Turkey last year, whereas 482,188 children of school age did not enroll in any primary school. Of this figure, some 249,698 were boys and 232,490 were girls.
The schooling rate for middle school on the other hand was 95.68 percent, with a total of 5,554,415 students attending middle school last year. Some 250,784, on the other hand, did not enroll in a middle school although they were of age. Of this figure, 130,058 were boys and 120,726 girls.
The schooling rate for high school was reportedly a record low last year, among all years recorded so far, as it hit 82.54 percent. Some 5,849,970 students received high school education, including at open high schools, whereas 1,240,902 students did not attend high school, although the duration of compulsory education in the country is 12 years. Of the students that were not enrolled in high school last year, 658,286 were boys and 582,616 girls.
Turkey’s Union of Education Workers (Eğitim-Sen) released a report on Sept. 13 regarding the ministry’s released figures on education, also touching upon preschool rates.
“According to the Education Ministry figures, prior to the execution of the 4+4+4 system [in education] in the 2011-2012 school year, there were 25,172 preschool educational institutions and a total of 1,059,000 students in these institutions, but the number of these students have reached only 1,124,727 [last year], although five years have since passed,” Eğitim-Sen said in its report.
“The schooling rate for pre-school education, which was 65.60 percent for the 2011-2012 school year, stayed at 58.79 percent in 2016-2017 year. The number of students attending private schools for preschool education has doubled within the past five years,” the report also said.
The union’s report also touched upon the increase in the number of students attending an open education high school.
“Before there was a shift to the 4+4+4 system in education, according to the Education Ministry figures, there were 940,000 students enrolled in open high schools, but there has been a surge following the 4+4+4 system. As of the end of the 2016-2017 school year, the number of students registered at open high schools has reached 1,554,938,” the report said.
The union based the reason for this increase on the Transition from Primary to Secondary Education (TEOG) exam, the which is the official high school entrance exam