Teachers in Turkey far from being happy: Poll

Teachers in Turkey far from being happy: Poll

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Teachers in Turkey far from being happy: Poll

Hürriyet photo

On the eve of Nov. 24, Teachers’ Day, a survey carried out by a local union showed that more than half of all Turkish teachers are cutting down on their cultural activities to be able to make ends meet every month.

According to a survey by teachers’ union Türk Eğitim-Sen, carried out with the direct participation of teachers, more than 90 percent of Turkish teachers think their profession has lost its allure over the last few years.

The survey results indicate that 90.5 percent of teachers are cutting down on their household expenses while 62.2 percent apply “austerity measures,” mostly on social activities.

Some 14,794 teachers participated in the survey, the results of which showed that more than 50 percent of teachers say their monthly wages are not sufficient to meet their expenses, while 49 percent say they are spending a majority of their income on the payment of bank loans.

Teachers’ problems are not limited to financial issues. Some 40 percent of the participants say they were exposed to abuse by students and/or parents, although 69 percent of this abuse is limited to verbal violence.

The highest rate of agreement in the whole set of results concerned the changing image of the profession, with 94.9 percent saying the way others see the profession has negatively changed in the last decade.

President Abdullah Gül, meanwhile, voiced his appreciation of teachers, particularly those who have been working despite threats of terrorism. “We are aware that our country and nation’s bright future is being shaped by the hands of our teachers, who are serving with hope, love and sacrifice despite some pressures of terrorism and the cost of their lives,” Gül said Nov. 23. Over the past few months, schools in eastern and southeastern provinces have been the targets of attacks associated with supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).