Turkey’s education minister unveils education reform program
The Turkish education system will aim for a more diverse curriculum and fewer school hours for students, Education Minister Ziya Selçuk has announced at an event where he introduced a new reform program.
The newly announced reform program also seeks to introduce design and skills workshops in an attempt to appeal to every kind of student.
Selçuk announced the new changes on Oct. 23 during a presentation of “Education Vision 2023” in the capital Ankara. Selçuk said the new system will aim to guide students to the area of education they would most likely succeed in.
Exams will be “of secondary” importance in the new system, Selçuk said, adding that flexible models which do not require a placement exam will be developed.
Millions of students every year are required to sit standardized placement exams determining which high school or university they earn the right to attend. In order to achieve high marks in these exams, students compete against each other for years, going through a lot of stress and anguish. One of the focuses of the new education system will be “not to put exam pressure on students,” Selçuk said.
For example, in primary schools, instead of grading students based on one criterion, teachers will evaluate students’ works based on several different criteria.
Kindergarten education will be compulsory once the relevant works are completed.
Another key change will be reducing the number of subject areas in primary schools. Additionally, the length of breaks between classes in primary school will be extended.
The new system also promises to motivate teachers with better working conditions, including pay rises. The teachers seen as successful by the ministry will be sent abroad for training programs.
There will also be changes in the education of the teachers. “The training of teachers should definitely be changed in education faculties [of universities]. We cannot control the system without controlling the resources,” Selçuk said.
The “Education Vision 2023” is part of a series of campaigns spearheaded by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who has vowed to usher in several changes by 2023, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish republic.