Children from impoverished rural regions succeed in Turkish high school entrance exam again
ISTANBULChildren from impoverished rural regions in Turkey have once again succeeded in the national high school entrance exam despite living under difficult conditions compared to their peers in the country’s west.
A high number of students scored all of the questions correctly in the Transition from Primary to Secondary Education (TEOG) exam carried out on April 27 and 28.
Similar to previous years, children from these impoverished regions, who don’t have the financial privileges to pay for private lessons and who have to work outside school time, presented major successes in the exam.
Even though they revised for the exam while working in fields or shepherding, they managed to shine among 1,185,328 students who sat TEOG thanks to their endless ambitions.
One such example is Habib Bitkin, 14, from the Çemişgezek district of the eastern province of Tunceli. Bitkin prepared for the exam while herding sheep in order to help his family make a living. He answered 119 out of the 120 questions correctly.
Saying that he wanted to become a scientist, Habib noted that he was studying while taking sheep out on grass.
“Our living conditions are very tough, but I never gave up. I made it,” Habib said, adding that he was made fun of when he said his ambition was to become a biotechnology expert in the future because of the conditions he lived in.
Another student who succeeded in the exam was Eda Beytaş from the Varto district of the eastern province of Muş. Having answered all questions correctly, Beytaş said she was herding sheep in her free time in order to support her family.
“My aim is to become an interior architect,” Beytaş said.
Elsewhere, Sinan Bozkan from the Viranşehir district of the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa was also among the students who ranked first.
Having nine siblings, Bozkan said his family had to work in fields in order to make a living.
“I’m very happy. I want to become a space engineer and realize my dream,” Bozkan said.
Moreover, a striking success story emerged from a school in the southeastern province of Batman where 16 students from the same school ranked first. Ten students from the same class in the İMKB Belde Middle School answered all questions correctly.
Hüseyin Tunçağ – SİİRT
Living in an impoverished village in the eastern province of Siirt with seven siblings, Hüseyin Tunçağ worked in the fields after school and only had time to study at nights. In order to study, he slept fewer hours than needed but ended up managing to answer all questions correctly.
“It was hard to go to school after working in the fields, but I have a dream and that keeps me standing,” Tunçağ said, adding that his aim is to become an aircraft engineer.
“I know I have to work harder and I will do it,” he said.
Esmanur Demir – ŞANLIURFA
Esmanur Demir, from the Hilvan district of the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, was among the first ranking students in TEOG and found out about her results while she was out working in the fields.
“My biggest dream is to become a doctor. It is hard working in the fields. My advice to my friends is this: Know the value of life, read and study. I’m thankful to all of my teachers who supported me,” Demir said. She also noted that she had to miss school for two months at the beginning and end of the school year due to the seasonal work she had to do.
Beyzanur Aslan – AMASYA
Beyzanur Aslan from the northern province of Amasya learned that she had answered all the questions correctly from the school principal as she was grazing animals.
“I take my books with me when I’m taking care of the animals. I take the animals to feed after school,” Aslan said, adding that she felt proud to become one of the top students despite studying at a village school.
“I’ve been dreaming of becoming a cardiac surgeon since I was little. I’ll do my best to reach it. I owe my success to my family, friends, teachers and our school administrator,” she also said.
Esma Açıkça – SİİRT
As one of the 14 siblings from an impoverished family, Esma Açıkça managed to answer all questions correctly in the TEOG.
Açıkça, hailing from the Şirvan district of the eastern province of Siirt, said she wants to become a doctor and treat residents of her village of Maden.
“I want to study in a major university and I want to become a doctor to serve my village. I want to save people’s lives,” she said, adding that she had to study at night due to the house being too crowded during the day.
“I played with my friends when I had the time but I never neglected my studies,” Açıkça said.
Cemal Nişo, Akın Bartın – HAKKARİ
Two students from the Yüksekova district of the southeastern province of Hakkari managed to answer all questions correctly on the TEOG despite having to cope with severe material losses.
The schools and houses of Cemal Nişo and Akın Bartın were demolished during clashes between security forces and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, but it did not stop them from realizing their goals.
“When we came to Yüksekova after the curfew was lifted, we saw that our houses and schools were demolished. We had lost everything we valued. We started all over again,” Nişo said.