Education in Turkey
The Turkish government has tried to distribute tablet computers to hundreds of families still displaced from their homes by an earthquake that struck the eastern province of Van in 2011 reportedly on condition that the families become party members. While many children have become dependent on tablets for remote education during the pandemic, the seeming bribe angered some residents of the settlement.
A recent survey revealed that about a quarter of students in Istanbul can't access remote education materials. The most common barrier to materials was revealed to be the lack of technological equipment like phones or televisions.
HDP deputy İmam Taşçıer has submitted a draft bill to parliament for Kurdish, mainly Kurmanji and Zazaki, to become a language of education. "Education in mother tongue ensures the development of a child's cultural identity, personality and self-respect. It's also utterly significant to make sure their efficient participation in social and economic life," Taşçıer said.
Turkish Education Ministry has urged its personnel to attend a symposium on Hagia Sophia organized by the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) and scheduled to be held in Istanbul on Sept. 30 upon the religious body's request. The ministry sent a notice to all provincial and district directorates to ensure attendance.
Students in Turkey are struggling with access to education materials during the online make-up period leading up to the first day of school on Sept. 21. Students report limited access to internet and poor efficiency on TV broadcasts, often restricting their access to classes.
Turkish schools are not ready to open, considering the lack of resources to prepare against the COVID-19 pandemic in the classrooms, an Eğitim-Sen representative said. Schools lack help staff and protective equipment, and safe distancing might be an issue, according to the expert.
Turkish Education Minister Ziya Selçuk said that they would decide whether classes would be carried out remotely "at the end of August, beginning of September." The academic year is scheduled to start on August 31 so far.
A Turkish youth forum launched an interactive online map that revealed the age group's biggest issues during the COVID-19 pandemic to be access to education and to work. The right to health and shelter were referred as the second largest issues.
A recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed Turkey as the leading member country for the portion of youth who are both unemployed and out of school. This number was revealed to be 26.7 percent in February in data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).
Turkey has ranked 64th out of 77 countries in access to a computer for schoolwork in a report released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Turkey came in 70th in terms of internet access for students, falling closer to the end of the report's list with countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic, whereas Denmark, Finland and Estonia ranked among the top.