Turkish Education Ministry warns possible teachers about poor job prospects

Turkish Education Ministry warns possible teachers about poor job prospects

Nuran Çakmakçı – ANTALYA
Turkish Education Ministry warns possible teachers about poor job prospects

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A top Turkish Education Ministry official has warned prospective teachers of poor job opportunities in the future due to a shortage of open positions.

“Each person who graduates from a university begins life with a job expectation. The numbers are out in the open. There are nearly 1,000,000 candidates who are hoping to be assigned as teachers by the state. However, our need is close to 100,000,” the ministry’s general manager of teacher training, Associate Professor Semih Aktekin, recently said at a a symposium on education in the southern province of Antalya, encouraging teachers to consider careers in other fields. 

Aktekin said teachers who have no prospect of being assigned should be given skills that could make them transferable to other job areas. 

“Those receiving education in history should head toward museology or tourism guidance; those receiving education in Turkish language and literature should head toward local journalism or publishing; those receiving education in mathematics should head toward banking, the insurance business or the private sector,” he also said. 

“Everything should not be expected from the state,” Aktekin said.

“The private sector should take advantage of the pool of 1,000,000 teachers waiting to be assigned. Colleges should offer jobs to these and universities must take advantage of them as research assistants,” he said. 

During his speech, Aktekin said there were around 228,000 students in a total of 92 education faculties. 

“There is no chance of employment as teachers in the public sector for those receiving education in faculties of education and undergraduates in the upcoming period. This is also the case for other departments.

However, there is a different perception regarding being a teacher. It was perceived as a guaranteed job due to the fact that the employment falls below the needed levels and that the employment was in public sector. When the quotas are increasing in universities, more students enroll in each department,” he also said. 

Moreover, Aktekin said those who fail at Turkey’s Public Personnel Selection Exam (KPSS) or fail to find a job in private schools describe themselves as “a teacher who couldn’t be appointed.”

“A person who is first on the KPSS in physics, says, ‘I’m the winner but I couldn’t get assigned.’ Is being a civil servant the only option? If he really is the winner, he should have been receiving invitations from scientific institutions at plenty of universities and colleges. There are people who take the KPSS for 10 years. When we condition them with the notion ‘you are a teacher, you can’t be something else,’ we are doing them a disservice. We should change the definitions,” he said.