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LOCAL >Summer break starts for 17.5 million students in Turkey

ISTANBUL

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About 17.5 million pre-school, elementary, middle and high school students in Turkey received their second-term report cards and began their nearly three-month summer break on June 9.

Not just students, but 1.22 million teachers also began the long break; but for some, the experience was sentimental, especially the 59-year-old Makbule Şahin who retired after serving 38 years as a classroom teacher. 

Şahin said goodbye to her fourth grade students for the last time, after handing their report cards at the Mithatpaşa Elementary School in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak. 

Şahin, who helped her students wear caps and gowns at their graduations, addressed them in a farewell speech saying: “Study without forgetting that you are the future of a country and a lot is expected from you. Don’t doubt that. We, your teachers, and your dear families will be with you whenever needed,” Doğan News Agency reported. 

Şahin could not hold her tears as well as her students and some family members. The veteran teacher then hugged her students and consoled them. 

Some students in Istanbul were surprised on their last day of school, receiving their report cards directly from Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin. The governor was joined by Istanbul provincial director of education Ömer Faruk Yelkenci at an address to the students and teachers of the Küçükmece Meraşal Fevzi Çakmal Elementary School. “Friends, make sure our backs are not always facing the student, do not let our faces always be turned to the board. Of course, we’ll turn to the board sometimes to teach something, but let our faces, not backs, be turned to the students,” Şahin told the teachers. 

Yelkenci, on the other hand, suggested to families that they encourage children to play games during the summer break. “Our children at the level of elementary and middle school are still at a stage where they should be playing games. This is the child’s most important job. As much as our jobs are important to us as adults, games are as important to our children,” Yelkenci told daily Hürriyet.   

Syrian refugee children were also among kids who received their report cards on June 9. Nearly half a million Syrian refugee children are currently enrolled in schools across Turkey, with some 506 attending the Orient Temporary Education Center on the border town of Reyhanlı district of the southern province of Hatay. 

The school was providing Turkish, Arabic and English classes along with other lessons in line with the Turkish Education Ministry’s curriculum, as reported by Doğan News Agency. “We are preparing our kids to the future here in peace and safety. We are giving them good education. Our children will have a say in the future of Syria,” Syrian teacher Betül Hammada said. 

There are a total of 16,000 Syrian refugee children attending a total of 37 temporary education centers in Reyhanlı.

The 2017-18 school year is expected to start on September 18.

June/09/2017

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