KAGIDER’s traditional Breakfast Meeting took place at the Avantgarde Hotel in Istanbul. The meeting focused on Turkey’s 4+4+4 education law.
Head of KAGIDER, Gülden Türktan, gave the opening remarks at the meeting. She said that the education law has not been fully understood by the establishments implementing it, and explained that clarity is essential in these situations. Türktan also added that we lacked a full understanding of how beginning school at an earlier age would affect children, and that more research should be conducted in order to truly comprehend the potential benefits of the new policies.
ERG Director Prof. Dr. Üstün Ergüder then explained that the new law put in place to reform the education system is flawed, adding that “it was instated without sufficient preparations. Non-governmental organizations should conduct more research in order to improve on these reform efforts.”
Highlighting the fact that Turkey’s population is younger compared to other countries’ populations in the European Union, she said that if Turkey’s youth receive proper education Turkey would be able grow economically in a significant way by the year 2025. Without implementing a successful education system and supporting innovation, the world’s most valuable companies, such as Apple, will not see any favorable business opportunities in Turkey.
Ergüder also argued that an Islamic-centered education system would discriminate against children who are not Muslim, especially in Anatolia, stating that “within a pluralist Democratic system this is unacceptable.”
Author Nuran Çakmakçı pointed out that the new education laws were decided upon very quickly and that the Ministry of Education’s Board was not even aware of some of the changes that took place.
He also added that certain key questions about school curriculum changes, training teachers, and setting up new schools remained unanswered.
Highly skeptical of the new education system being put into place, Çakmakçı said “While the draft of the law was being discussed in the General Assembly, I had sent 70 questions but none were answered. A building is built but the groundwork is being done afterwards.”
The meeting came to a close following a question and answer session.