Notes on an ever-changing education

Notes on an ever-changing education

I wandered through Istanbul’s Babıâli district again on Saturday. I was assuming that I would see queues there, as it used to be, because it was two days before the schools opened. No, it was like any regular Saturday.

The bookstores and stationeries I spoke to summed up the situation for me: “Because the state is distributing free books, we do not sell them. For stationeries, parents either buy them from gross markets or find other solutions.”

Also, since schools make deals with certain brands, except for mass purchases, the stationery stores are not able to sell much.

Some stationery stores in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district mentioned fountain pens were still used in some private schools…

Despite the situation of the market, again, notebooks, crayons, pencils are bought. Among pencils, mechanical pencils are the preferred. Nevertheless, penmanship is back in schools, I have heard.

Friends and colleagues told me teachers have told their students they prefer regular, non-automatic pencils. I also like wooden pencils, but just as well; I always carry mechanic pencils with me, from 0.3 to 1.4. If you use conventional pencils, then you need to carry pencil sharpeners with you. 

In the past, pocket notebooks were always on demand; now the young generation records everything, their appointments in their phone memories. They sometimes lose them all, but they do not give up. As I remember the old days, I am looking at shop windows that have been prepared meticulously.
Typewriters are waiting for a buyer, sadly.

A typewriter mechanic I know now fixes printers – a very wise adaptation, I guess.

Encyclopedias were a must for households; moreover, most of them were good house decorations. Encyclopedias were the main books of bookshelves. Now, there is the Internet! Years ago, there was a war of encyclopedias among newspapers; technology has ended that war.

The website of the Turkish Language Association (TDK) has taken the place of its dictionary. I look up words in their specialized dictionaries. I always use their general literature and art dictionaries, but I do not neglect the Internet because contemporary information can only be obtained there. However, the details are again in the books.

After the rush back to school ends, I will remind you about certain work. As a parent, evaluate how you have spent your summer, and do not forget to do the same for your child. Make a small bookshelf for your children in their rooms, because the presence of a library at home is significant for reading habits.

For every age, there are very nice local and translated books, both in content and shape. Talk to your child’s teacher and consider his or her choices before you prepare their library.

Education Minister Nabi Avcı included exciting points in his new academic year message. After saying that fewer exams will take place, he said there would be more projects designed for students to spend more time on the arts, reading and sports. I do hope it happens….

Support and assist your child, whatever fields they are interested in, whichever they prefer. Select the books you buy accordingly, and the music to which they will listen…

There are many differences between the type of books you select and the ones they select. Try to base your choices on their wishes.

You were the reader of certain literary genres. Now it is thrillers or science-fiction or fantasy….

Also, make sure your children are movie-goers and theater-goers. Focus on visual education. Do not block the reality of television, but use it properly. A huge vacation has been left behind; have you taken them to museums in the summer? If they are interested in painting, did you visit the workshops of private museums so that they can take pleasure in the art of painting?    

Which books did you suggest to them?

If you can undertake this self-criticism, then you can prepare yourself better for the next vacation.