Vocational high schools not preferred, statistics show
Esra Ülkar – ISTANBULWhile almost half of all Turkish secondary education students are enrolled at vocational and technical high schools, only 35 percent of them prefer these schools, reports have shown, drawing attention to the quality of such schools in the country.
In the second convention of a workshop organized by the Education Ministry and the European Training Foundation (ETF) to discuss the problems of vocational and technical high schools in the country, statistics have showed that there were 135,641 teachers and 1,719,648 students in these kinds of high schools, which makes up 49 percent of secondary education students in Turkey. However, statistics have shown that among all secondary education students, only 35 percent of them preferred such schools as their first or second choices based on their Transition from Primary to Secondary Education (TEOG) exam results.
Speaking about the situation of vocational and technical high schools in Turkey, Education Ministry Deputy Secretary Associate Prof. Mustafa Hilmi Çolakoğlu said they would receive support from the EU to establish a Center for Vocational and Technical Education Excellency and labeled the centers as “distributing and developing the most advanced technology and practices.”
“We have reached an important point in our studies. We only need time. As universities, ministries and NGOs, we have reached a consensus on problems,” said Çolakoğlu, adding that the availability rate of materials needed to be in workshops for applied training was 20 percent.
“Due to supply and demand issues, we cannot pay attention to checking if internship places are maintaining minimum standards. Resources, with which our teachers can develop themselves, need to be found. We have physical problems with our buildings. Without these [resources], vocational high schools are not appealing. We should support the private sector to open vocational high schools. We should build up the education in the language of that sector so that we can find a chance to work with other countries as far as employment is concerned,” said Çolakoğlu.
Also speaking about the problems of vocational high schools, Prof. Mustafa Balcı from the Delegation of the European Commission to Turkey Sector Manager for Education and Training said that Turkey had begun to experience problems in the apprenticeship system with the implementation of the 4+4+4 education system.
“Since the apprenticeship system is not included in the 4+4+4 system, it had been neglected for a while. But last month, with the Education Ministry’s legal regulation it [apprenticeship] has also taken its place in the formal vocational education system. What we need to do is to realize the feasibility of this regulation,” said Balcı, adding that vocational and technical high school teachers’ undergraduate education was another problem that should be addressed.
Balcı also said that a credit system instead of class passing system should be implemented in vocational and technical high sch