President of Egitim Bir-Sen and Memur-Sen Ali Yalcin has stated that they have concluded a study that contains almost all of the indicators of education in Turkey, assessing each one from different perspectives, including analyses on each one them, which is the most comprehensive study in this field until today and added: "While we prepared Overview of Education 2016: Monitoring and Assessment Report, we have reviewed the national and international indicators and parameters on education. We believe that our report will be used as a basic reference by teachers, academic personnel conducting research on education and political/administrative decision makers on education policies".
Ali Yalcin has declared Overview of Education 2016: Monitoring and Assessment Report at the press conference organized in Headquarters. He stated that as the authorized trade union in education service branch and the greatest civil society organization of Turkey with its 402 thousand members, they have been struggling for entity and freedom for more than 24 years.
Yalcin added: "We work and produce for the goals of protecting and improving the financial and social rights of employees in the field of education, to place their problems into agenda and solve those, to provide criticisms and suggestions with the understanding of "a better education for everyone" and to ensure justice in income distribution. We continue to establish new thresholds for trade unionism and civil society in this journey we have launched in order to build a stronger, wealthy, and more equitable Turkey where more liberated, wealthier and happier people who comprehended the root values of our civilization live. Within this framework, we shed light on past, today and future with our academic works, we increase the value of endeavor with the acquisitions we obtain for the educational employees and we remunerate the understanding of academic unionism. The public opinion created by our union played an important role for the lifting of head scarf ban at universities. Our decisiveness in ending the injustice of coefficients at university entry exams is well known. We also have a request and follow-up on including courses such as Holy Qur'an, Prophetic Biography and Fundamental Religious Knowledge in the curriculum. Our perception on ending the continuous education, strengthening the 4+4+4 gradual education is not political, but pedagogical. A s Egitim-Bir-Sen, we have strongly insisted for the abolition of National Security Information lecture which was a clear indicator of tutelage system, and we follow a libertarian and civilian education system and philosophy. Within this framework, we have played a determinant and effective role in the last fifteen years on establishing a nation-based, pedagogy/humane and knowledge focused educational system with our contributions, suggestions and criticism as pioneer and stakeholder."
Yalcin has also stated that since the first day of establishment, they have tried to create a road map to reach the ideal system by focusing on the determination of problems faced by education, education employees, nation and country and by suggesting solutions and implementing collaborative work with the related and authorized people and institutions. He added: "We have always worked to generate solutions, not slogans; we never marketed problems, but worked hard to move together with a common sense. Therefore, we did not generate words, but we became the stakeholder and subject of the solution by conducting scientific studies. We have implemented research, monitoring and assessment studies and reports focused on supporting the professional development of education employees, to raise the dignity of profession as a teacher; also to create education policies and to increase the quality in education. At this point; we are honored that our reports, studies, workshops, publications, seminars, symposiums and congresses on education, educator and education system are followed and praised by the people and institutions related with education. This responsibility has necessitated us to decide preparing an annual report about the general status of Turkey in education, its position, the existing data and the analyses for future in a comprehensive way. The intellectual ground of Overview of Education 2016: Monitoring and Assessment Report was developed under these circumstances. Our report is a study that contains almost all of the indicators of education in Turkey, assessing each one from different perspectives, including analyses on each one them, which is the most comprehensive study in this field until today and added: While the report is being prepared, the national and international indicators and parameters on education were reviewed. We believe that our report will be used as a basic reference by teachers, academic personnel conducting research on education and political/administrative decision makers on education policies".
Yalcin has also stated that Overview of Education 2016 is a product of long-term study conducted under a neutral and constructive approach and it is the first monitoring and assessment report of Egitim-Bir-Sen on education. He added: "I would also like to share our decision on preparing annual monitoring and assessment reports from this year on under the theme of "Overview of Education". By this, we will examine the existing status of education in Turkey and its global outlook with a continuous and stable discipline".
Some of the important titles of the report on existing education status of Turkey as explained by President Ali Yalcin are as follows:
Schooling between the ages 6-13 has almost reached to 100 percent
A significant growth of schooling is recorded in all phases of education. It is seen that in the academic year of 2015-2016; the schooling rate for the age group between 6-9 (primary school) was 98,81 %; whereas it was 99,05 % for the age group of 10-13 (secondary school).
15 % of youth at High School Age is outside education
As secondary school was added under the scope of compulsory education after 2012; schooling rates at this phase have been increasing in the last years. However, 15 % of the students in the age group of 14-17 that covers the secondary school o not continue with their education. This reveals the necessity for the development of new policies.
The rate of student attending vocational education has exceeded the OECD average
Vocational High School student rate, which expresses the share of students attending to schools under vocational education among all students was around 45 % between the years 1990 and 1997. Depending on the decision on coefficients during the February 28 process, the rate of students attending vocational education gradually decreased until 2002, and ended at 35 %. In the following years, this rate has continuously increased until 2014 and reached to 50 %.
When the proportional distribution of secondary school students between the ages 15-19 in Turkey according to general and vocational high school program type is compared with some countries; it is seen that the rate of vocational high school students in Turkey (47 %) is a bit higher than the vocational high school students rate in OECD (41 %).
The number of private schools is increasing
Considering all the phases between pre-school and secondary school; the number of students in private schools was around 157 thousand in 1990, and this number has gradually increased to 272 thousand in 2000, 498 thousand in 2010 and 1 million and 174 thousand in 2015.
When we look with figures; the proportion of students attending to private schools among all students was 1,5 % in 1990; then it has gradually increased to 2,1 % in 2000, 3,0 % in 2010 and 6,7 % in 2015.
Sixty percent of students registered in basic high schools are 12th year students
There are a total of 1.205 basic high schools which were transformed from private teaching institutions in 2015-2016 academic year. A total of 22 thousand and 67 teachers were employed and 182 thousand and 876 students were enrolled at these institutions. The share of basic high schools in all private schools is 41 %; the share of students attending to basic high schools in all students attending the private schools is 39 % and the share of teachers employed at basic high schools in all teachers employed at private schools is around 38 %.
When we examine the distribution of students attending to basic high schools within the mentioned academic year according to their grades, we see a dramatic result.
Even though the related regulation has clearly indicated that the number of students registered in each class at basic high schools cannot be more than 40 % of total quota; the students who attend the 12th grade is equal to 58 % of total number of registered students. In other words, approximately 60 % of students registered at basic high school are 12th grade students.
The increase of students in Distance Education is an indicator
The total number of students enrolled in distance education (secondary school and high school) has been increasing since 2007. In 2015, the number of students in distance education is 1.874.210, with 1.536.135 as open high school and 338.075 as open secondary school students.
The share of distance education among the students enrolled in secondary education for 2015 is 26,45 %. In other words, one in every four students is enrolled at open secondary school or high school.
With a new change implemented in the last year, students who are not enrolled to any formal education institutions in TEOG placements are placed to distance learning high schools mandatorily. Besides, the high school students who repeat the same class for two consecutive years are also rolled to open secondary school education. Correspondingly, distance learning high school is not a quality alternative for students; but turned into a depot institution where the unsuccessful students are directed to.
As the level of education increases, so does workforce participation
In Turkey, as the level of education increases, the rates for participating the workforce and employment also increase.
For 2015, the rates of participating in workforce was 80 % for college or university graduates; whereas this rate is 65 % for high school equivalent vocational schools, 54 % for general high schools; and 43 % for graduates of schools below high school. For the same year, the rates of employment was 71 % for college or university graduates; whereas this rate is 58 % for high school equivalent vocational schools, 47 % for general high schools; and 39 % for graduates of schools below high school.
Higher education has an excessive transformative power work the participation of women in workforce and their employment. For example, for the population between the ages of 30 and 64, the rate of college or university graduate women's participation in workforce and employment is twice more than those women with lower education levels.
As the level of education increases, so does economic profit
Also, as the level of education increases, so does economic benefit. According to the 2014 data of TUIK; when taking the high school graduate level as a reference, it is seen that the annual income of college and above graduates is 2,4 times more than the high school graduates. It is also obvious that being the vocational high school graduate provides advantage in terms of annual gross income when compared with a general high school graduate. On the basis of annual average gross income, being a vocational high school graduate provides 1,3 time more advantage than being a general high school graduate in 2014.
OECD average is reached for average class numbers
When considering the 2013 OECD data as a base, the average number of students in Turkey at primary and secondary school level (23 and 28, consecutively) is above the OECD average (21 and 24 consecutively). Depending on the developments in recent years, Turkey ha reached the 2013 average of OECD in 2015.
However, even though the regional and provincial differences (inequalities) in average number of classes have significantly decreased in the last 10-15 years; the inequalities are still ongoing.
There is a need of 60 thousand classrooms in primary and secondary schools
The rate of schools implementing binary education at primary and secondary school stages and the number of students have slightly decreased between 2010 (22 percent and 51 percent, consecutively) and 2015 (19 percent and 46 percent consecutively). In 2015, binary education is provided in 16 percent of the classrooms. According to this, if the number of classes and schooling rates remain stable, there is a need for 60 thousand classrooms to end the binary education in primary and secondary schools.
For the academic year of 2015-2016, approximately 8 percent of primary school students in Turkey and 11 percent of secondary school students are transported to central schools via mobile teaching.
The imbalance of distribution of teachers is the greatest reason of inequality of opportunity
The imbalanced distribution of teachers between the regions and provinces in terms of experience is worrying in terms of equality of opportunity in education. As the average service term of public teachers in Turkey is 11,7 years; this is 6,0, 6,7 and 7,2 in the regions of Northeastern Anatolia, Central East Anatolia and Southeastern Anatolia, respectively.
The cities with the highest average of teacher services are İzmir (15,6), Aydın (15,5), Karabük (14,9), Ankara (14,9), Yalova (14,8) and Balıkesir (14,8) whereas the lowest ones are Şırnak (1,8), Hakkâri (2,0), Ağrı (2,8), Muş (3,1) and Bitlis (3,9).
In accordance with the target set in Tenth Development Plan; some arrangements have to be implemented in order to encourage long-term employment of teachers i n disadvantaged regions. An arrangement about the personnel rights of teachers is considered to be an effective policy tool for this.
The appointment and location change of teachers constitute a risk of increasing the inequality of opportunity
Majority of the teachers who switch their provinces by location change are from the regions of Northeastern Anatolia, Central East Anatolia and Southeastern Anatolia. Approximately 52 % of the teachers who switched provinces have left the provinces in these regions. A significant portion of teachers who change their locations (43 percent) have been appointed to the provinces in Mediterranean, Aegean and to Istanbul. Generally, it is seen that the teachers who have changed locations between provinces have left the regions with less developed provinces and moved to the Western regions with more developed provinces.
The rate of teachers who have left the eastern regions with low socio-economic levels by inter-provincial location change are mostly filled with newly appointed teachers. 73 percent of new teachers are appointed to the provinces in eastern regions.
When considered together with appointments ue to change of locations between the provinces and the initial appointments; the need for teachers in eastern regions is met by new teachers (90 percent), and this is between 49 and 75 percent by the teachers who were appointed by change of location.
Students are waiting for teachers, and teacher candidates are waiting for appointment
The number of existing students in the education faculties, which is assessed by the number of new registrations and graduates; and also considering the number of pedagogical formation certifications provided for the graduates of faculty of Science and Letters; it is assumed that the teacher supply will be much higher than the demand in the coming years. In 2015, 417.480 candidate teachers have attended the KPSS Educational Sciences Test.
There is need for 130 thousand teachers
There are approximately 40 thousand norm-excessive teachers employed in public schools. As there is a need for 130 thousand teachers (data of February 2016), the assignment of 5 % of teachers in schools where there is no need for them is a very problematic case in terms of equality of opportunity and the efficient utilization of public resources. Policies must be implemented in order to solve this problem without violating the rights such as protection family integrity and meeting the health needs.
1 out of 5 high school students is absent
Data on student absence indicates that the rate of students absent in high schools for more than 21 days, with or without an excuse, is very high. According to the data of 2014-2015 academic year, approximately 19 percent of high school students were absent for 21 days or more. This is 10 percent in secondary schools and 5 percent in primary schools.
The grade repetition in secondary education is still a problem
The grade repetition in secondary education has significantly increased between 2010 and 2014. This rate was 4,3 percent in 2010 and it has increased to 5,7 in 2014. When the proportional distribution of students with grade repetition to the classes is reviewed; it is seen that grade repetition is mostly seen among the 9th grade students.
When the distribution of grade repetition students according to school type is examined, the situation is striking. The rate of students from vocational high school among all students who have repeated their grade was 57 percent in 2010-2011; and this has increased to 87 percent according to the most recent data.
Secondary education graduation rates are still low
Secondary education graduation rates in Turkey continue to increase. This rate was 53,4 percent in 2008 and it has increased to 79,5 percent in 2014. On the other hand, this rate is still low in Turkey when compared with the developed countries. According to OECD data, this rate is 85 percent in OECD. The secondary education graduation rate was 100 percent in some countries such as New Zealand, Portugal, Ireland and Japan. This is a clear indicator of the negative status in Turkey.
Inequality of opportunity for higher education
The detailed analysis of the students who have enrolled in a higher education program according to the type of high school they graduated reveals the difference of success among the high school types. According to the results of 2015 placement; Social Sciences High Schools, Private Science High Schools, Anatolia Teachers' High Schools and Private High Schools (foreign language), Natural Sciences High Schools and Anatolian High Schools were more successful than others. This huge gap reveals the inequality of opportunities at higher education examinations.
The expenditures per student increase, but still insufficient
The expenditure per student in primary and secondary education in Turkey is in a tendency of growth. However, according to the existing data, Turkey has the last place among the OECD countries in terms of this item.