School’s out for millions of Turkish students
ISTANBULNearly 18 million students in Turkey received their first-term report cards and began their two-week winter semester break on Jan. 20.
Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz released a statement regarding the semester break, in which he addressed both students and parents.
“Raising children as qualified and good individuals is as important to us as their being successful students. We shouldn’t see our children’s success only based on their school grades, but we should also evaluate them with their behavior and attitude. The real success is the one that combines both of them,” he said in a written statement, adding that as the ministry, they were attempting to implement better-quality education, while praising teachers for their efforts.
“To our valuable teachers; I, with all my heart, support all your efforts to raise our generations,” he said.
Noting that students were the future of the country, Yılmaz said students would carry Turkey to a “powerful future.”
“Don’t forget, no success is a result of coincidence, but it comes with regular and continuous work,” he added.
School will resume on Feb. 6 and is expected to end on June 9. The 2017-18 school year is expected to start on Sept. 18.
During the second semester, eighth-grade students will take the Transition from Primary to Secondary Education (TEOG) exam on April 26 and 27. The make-up exams for TEOG will take place on May 20 and 21.
While students are excited to have a break from school, experts have been warning families to not overreact to their children’s school reports. Experts stress that the break is designed for rest, fun and some study.
Experts also said the ways of learning vary from child to child and that young students should not be compared to each other.
Meanwhile, Istanbul Municipality Spor A.Ş.’s “Bring your school report and skate on ice,” project will continue this year at the Silivrikapı ice rink in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu.
İsmail Özbayraktar, the general manager of the Istanbul Municipality’s Spor A.Ş., said they had seen happiness in children’s eyes over the previous two years in which the program has been implemented.
“We think that every child has a talent for a sport. That’s why the children can try different sports in our facility. Because without trying, we can’t discover the talent of a child,” Özbayraktar said.
Some parents and students have been trying to find vacation places to make good use of the two-week break. Ski tours are on high demand inside Turkey and abroad, and plenty of tourism companies are preparing additional programs for the semester break.
ETS Tourism Deputy General Manager Suat Özbek said those who want to ski in Turkey have opted for Uludağ, Kartalkaya, Bolu and Ilgaz. He also said demand for hot-spring tourism has been on the rise.
According to figures provided by UNICEF, nearly half a million Syrian refugee children are currently enrolled in schools across Turkey.
The UNICEF figures matched information provided by Deputy Education Minister Orhan Erdem, who welcomed a visiting UNICEF team. Some 497,000 out of 833,000 Syrian migrant children of school age are offered education, Erdem said.