Turkish Education Ministry to spend 1 billion liras on private schools
DHA photoThe Education Ministry will spend 1.8 billion Turkish Liras over the coming year on incentive payments to 230,000 students and on running state-owned exam preparation schools for over 4 million students, daily Habertürk has reported.
The ministry will spend 723.8 million liras on exam preparation schools set up at state schools and public education centers to help students prepare for the highly competitive university entrance exam, after private exam schools were abolished as part of the government’s campaign against the followers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. Many exam preparation schools had been owned by figures close to the Gülen movement, a former ally which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) now says is a terrorist group aiming to topple the government.
Around 4.3 million students currently take classes at some 22,000 exam prep schools. Funding will be spent on meeting the needs of these courses and meeting the salaries of 200,000 teachers employed by the centers.
The other 1 billion liras will be given as incentive payments to 230,000 students at pre-school, primary school and secondary school.
Some 20,000 pre-school students, 100,000 primary school students, and 110,000 secondary school students will reportedly receive financial aid as part of the plan.
Finally, 80 million liras of support will be provided to vocational technical high schools run at organized industrial zones. At present, a total of 19,179 students are enrolled in 34 such schools across Turkey.
50 million liras on disabled students
Meanwhile, the ministry’s General Director for Special Education and Counselling Services, Celil Güngör, told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency that a budget of 50 million liras will be spent on improving classrooms and workshop spaces across schools for the disabled.
Güngör said a total 45,322 disabled students are currently receiving education across 1,125 schools and 231 counselling and research centers. Another 203,263 students are receiving “inclusive education” in regions where special education schools are not yet available, he added.
The project foresees the renewal of facilities, including vocational workshop spaces and special education classrooms, for disabled students over the next three years, Güngör said.
“We have so far set up vocational workshop rooms across 36 schools,” he said, adding that “special education classrooms” were being formed as part of vocational technical high schools for the first time.
Nearly 200,000 teachers are currently receiving training in “Special Education Services Seminars,” which started on April 1 and will run until May 31 across 81 provinces, in order to provide quality education to disabled students receiving inclusive education, Güngör also said.