In this article I will give you some information about how is the educational system in Turkey. Before giving objective information I want to share my personal thoughts about it. First of all Turkey has a really complex educational system. Actually this is not my personal thought. Any person in Turkey will agree with me on this point. Especially in high school we learn things that people learn in their university education in other countries. Most of them about things that we will not use in our future careers. I cannot say that they are useless however they are just making our educational system more complex and harder.
Another point that causes problems is our educational system is variable. There are some changes almost every year and they are not basic changes. We need a more stable educational system if we want successful students.
However we have very successful universities despite the defects in the education system. Especially private universities have really great academicians, they have really good opportunities for their students about their future careers also they have really important success in international area.
Compulsory education lasts 12 years. Primary and secondary education is financed by the state and free of charge in public schools. Secondary or high school education is mandatory but required in order to then progress to universities. By 2011 there were 166 universities in Turkey. Entrance is regulated by a national examination, ÖSYS, after which high school graduates are assigned to university according to their performance.
In Turkey we have an educational system calls 4+4+4 which is 4 years primary education, first level, 4 years primary education, second level and 4 years secondary education. There is also pre-primary education which is optional for 36-72 month old children.
All 6 year old children have to start to primary school. There are four core subjects at First, Second and Third Grades which are; Turkish, Maths, Hayat Bilgisi (literally meaning "Life Knowledge" can describe as preparation for social studies) and Foreign Language. At Fourth Grade, "Hayat Bilgisi" is replaced by Science and Social Studies. The foreign language taught at schools changes from school to school. The most common one is English. Some private schools teach two foreign languages at the same time.
At eighth grade, social studies is replaced by "Turkish History of Revolution and Kemalism"
At the end of 8th grade, each student take an exam called TEOG from 6 different lessons (maths, Turkish,science, foreign language,religion and ethics and Turkish history of revolution and Kemalism)
30% of their weighted average marks in 5th, 6th and 7th grades and 70% of the mark that they get from the exam makes their total exam mark. Students choose which high school they would like to study at according to this mark.
There are some different types of high school in Turkey which are foreign language teaching high schools, Anatolian High Schools, high schools of science and Anatolia fine arts high schools.
Vocational and technical secondary education involves the institutions that both raise students as manpower in business and other professional areas, prepare them for higher education and meet the objectives of general secondary education.
There are also religious education schools, private education schools and health education schools.
All 9th graders are taught the same classes nationwide, with minor differences in certain cases. These classes are: Turkish language, Turkish literature, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, geometry, world history, geography, religion & ethics, physical education, a foreign language (in most cases English), a second foreign language (most commonly German).
When students enter the 11th grade, they typically choose one of four tracks: Turkish language–mathematics, science, social sciences, and foreign languages.
At the end of high school, following the 12th grade, students take a high school finishing examination and they are required to pass this in order to take the University Entrance Exam and continue their studies at a university. There are four score types for different academic fields, including but not limited to:
* Turkish language–mathematics: international relations, law, education, psychology, economy, business management, and similar.
* Science: engineering, computer science, medicine, and other science-related professions.
* Social sciences: history, geography, and education.
* Foreign languages: language/linguistics and language teaching.
Students take the high school finishing examination during their 12th grade education. It has questions about Turkish, Maths, Social Studies and Science that they learned during 4 years high school education. If they manage to have 150 points (Base score is 500) they become able to take second exam which is about their track and contains question about 12th grade education.The Undergraduate Placement Examinations consist of five standardized examinations which are Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Literature and Geography, Social Sciences, Foreign Language.
40% of their weighted average score that they had in high school finishing examination and 60% of the mark that they get from the University entrance exam, the final grade is combined with the secondary GPA to calculate a final score. Students choose which university and academic field they would like to study at according to this mark.
Universities provide either two or four years of education for undergraduate studies, while graduate programs last a minimum of two years. Some universities also ask for an additional year of English preparatory study to be completed before the start of studies, unless an exemption examination is passed.
The bachelor degree is typically conferred following four years of study and the completion of 128 credits (240 ECTS). Engineering, dentistry, architecture, and veterinary degrees are five years (160 credits, 300 ECTS); medical programs are six years in length, with direct entry from the upper secondary cycle.
So in my country we have more detailed and complex education in comparison with other countries’ educational system. However despite this difficult education I cannot say that we have a bad educational system in my country. Especially in universities, Turkey has really rewarding education. For Turkish students getting into a successful university, in particular private ones, is not easy but foreign students takes an easier exam therefore they are able to study in Turkish universities in a more relax way.
Turkish educational system presentation by Salih Sırrı Demirel