Self-esteem of imams comes before scientists
In the PISA test, which is research on education conducted in 65 countries comparing their achievements, Turkey was at the 44th place recently on secondary education quality.
Even Vietnam, Serbia and Estonia have swept over Turkey. We are the third from the last in understanding mathematic formulas. In reading and comprehension, we are below the OECD average and at the 40th place. In sciences, we are at the 42nd place. In international standards, the position of our young people is pathetic.
Let’s look at the Transition to Higher Education Exam (YGS). In 2014, around 900,000 candidates were not able to answer even one question correctly on the science test, while 420,000 candidates did the same on the math test. One year before, it was 310,000 in math. This figure has increased by 110,000 in one year, corresponding to 30 percent.
Because of the increase in those who could not even answer one question correctly, the success rate in math went down. The average correct answers adjusted with wrong answers was 7.4 one year before; it became 6.1 in 2014.
In 2014, the number of students taking the YGS was 2,007,685. Out of them, 1,423,127 were able to take the LYS. In other words, nearly 600,000 of those who took the first test were not able to pass to the second phase.
It seems that we are not only failing badly in education; we are crashing to pieces.
Let us not forget, this system is so distorted that every year around 400,000 students take the exam again, not happy with the department he or she has been placed in.
Let us look at the TIMMS research, which tests the knowledge and skills of fourth and eighth grade students in math and science.
In the test in 2011, Turkey, at the fourth grade level was at the 35th place among 50 countries, at the eighth grade level at the 24th place among 42 countries. In science, at the fourth grade level, it was 36th among 50 countries and at the eighth grade level it was 21st among 42 countries.
A report about the rates here has shown us that for a student to have a computer and Internet access at home are directly proportional with his or her success in science and math. The student liking the course is directly proportional with his or her success. Lack of class material and problems in the school building negatively affect the lectures at the school.
The less the teacher’s expectations are from students, the less the student achieves.
Inequality among regions creates unequal opportunities in education and affects the students’ success negatively.
The Education Ministry, instead of considering all of these and seeking solutions…
We have learned that, for a while, it has been occupied with such things as organizing a competition among those chanting the call to prayer, whom they have named “Young Bilals.” The aim was to improve the self-esteem of students attending religious vocational high schools, known as imam-hatip schools, to enhance their school identities and contribute to their social developments.
While self-esteem is pumped into the imam schools, we do not know yet who will repair the self-esteem of our other students who are falling apart in areas such as science, math, foreign languages and almost every other field or who will solve the attendance issue in high schools.