Teacher struggles to teach 140 students in school in Turkey’s southeast

Teacher struggles to teach 140 students in school in Turkey’s southeast

Teacher struggles to teach 140 students in school in Turkey’s southeast

DHA Photo

At a time when the government has vowed to shift Turkey’s schools to full-day education, many schools are facing shortages of teachers and sufficient facilities – particularly in the country’s southeastern provinces. 

A teacher in the Siverek district of the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, who is providing education to a total of 140 students in a school, is one striking example of such cases. 

There are just two classrooms in the Kalfalar Elementary School, and students are forced to sit four or five people to a seat, Doğan News Agency reported. 

“I’m trying to teach as the only teacher in this school. I can’t teach the students properly because the class is too crowded. We want officials to find a solution to this and appoint teachers to this school,” Mustafa Demirböken said, adding that he was forced to teach all subjects. 

According to Demirböken, a total of 70 of the students were currently with their families in order to work in fields.

Three teachers were appointed by the Education Ministry to the school previously, but none of them wanted to work there due to the lack of electricity and water at the school, as well as the facility’s physical condition, the agency said. 

In addition, officials from the district’s education directorate said the fact that the school was far away from the center of the province was one of the factors that made appointing teachers more difficult.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım had on Oct. 4 announced new practices in Turkey’s education system, saying schools will shift to full-time schooling, starting from 2019.

“We are heading toward an information society. There are already tablets, smart boards and the Internet in schools. But this needs to spread to all rural areas,” Yıldırım told reporters. 

“We will make preschool education and foreign language classes obligatory [after fifth grade],” he said, adding that all students will have their lunches at school.

“Students will be at school at midday and, similar to company employees, they will have lunch there. All students will go to school in the morning and leave school in the afternoon,” Yıldırım stated.