Over 1.3 million teenagers are not in school or in the workforce, according to data shared by Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), as debates over deficiencies in the education system continue.
The increase in the number of children not enrolled in school comes in parallel to the transition to the new 4+4+4 system in education, which entails four years of elementary school, four years of middle school and four years of high school.
According to the data, half of the country’s 6,950,000 high school-age teenagers are not in school and there is no data regarding the activities of another 1,375,000 teenagers in this age group, daily Birgün reported, adding that some 1.5 million teenagers at high school age are working.
The data further shows that more female teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 are in school, while more male teenagers in this age group are in the workforce.
Percentage-wise, more girls are unaccounted for: 26.5 percent of girls between 15 and 19 are neither in school nor in the workforce, while this number is 18.8 percent for boys.
The Ministry of National Education reportedly responded to the data with the statement that “All individuals who have reached the age of education are enrolled in educational institutions.”
According to the TÜİK data, 1.4 million male teenagers are in school only, and this number is 1.7 million for female teenagers.
Some 594,000 male teenagers are only in the work force, while this number is less than half for female teenagers at 266,000.
Nearly 501,000 male teenagers are both working and in school, while this number is a mere 204,000 for females.
Around 592,000 males are neither in the work force or school, while the number is 783,000 for female teenagers.