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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Turkey

Turkey

5. Participation

5.7 “Learning to participate” through formal, non-formal and informal learning

On this page
  1. Policy Framework
  2. Formal learning
  3. Non-formal and informal learning
  4. Quality assurance/quality guidelines for non-formal learning
  5. Educators' support

Policy Framework

Following policies and targets in the main policy field of “Democratic Participation and Civic Consciousness” in the National Youth and Sports Policy Document (Ulusal Gençlik ve Spor Politikası Belgesi) aim to improve the democracy education and participation learning processes of young people.

Policy 1. Pursuing the goal to expand the democracy consciousness among young people while making education-training policies.

Targets

  • To arrange the education curriculum as to include basic human rights documents for the purpose of improving democracy and citizenship consciousness.
  • To carry out activities with the purpose of placing an understanding among young people in which any kind of discrimination is prevented and which is tolerant, participative and transparent and which adopts democracy culture and assumes responsibility.
  • To encourage that young people to benefit from printed, visual and social media about democratic participation.

In accordance with the decision of the Ministry of National Education, Board of Education dated 25.06.2016 and No: 69; it is decided that “Human Rights, Citizenship and Democracy” course is taught as a compulsory course in 2 course hours in primary schools. In the background of this decision, it is aimed that students acquire fundamental values about human rights, citizenship and democracy and adopt these values as a life style or culture rather than giving theoretical information to the students.

Formal learning

In the historical perspective, introduction of the themes of civic consciousness along with the popular participation into the curriculums in a planned way dates back to the last period of the Ottoman Empire. The emphasis on the civic education and popular participation in formal education institutions serving the purpose of strengthening the bonds between the state and citizens has been an outcome of reformist movements in educational system during that period. In the Republican Era, raising individuals who love their country and know their responsibilities as citizens has been one of the overall targets of the Turkish national education.

While human rights and democracy education was previously given in courses such as Civics, Social Sciences, Citizenship Information and finally Citizenship and Human Rights Education, it has been taught as separate courses as of 2000’s such as Citizenship and Democracy Education and later Human Rights, Citizenship and Democracy course. 

In accordance with the overall targets and fundamental principles of the Turkish national education specified in the Law on Fundamentals of National Education No: 1739, “Human Rights, Citizenship and Democracy Course Curriculum” aims to raise individuals who;

  1. Adopt humanitarian values,
  2. Discover the privileges of being a child in terms of rights, freedoms and responsibilities,
  3. Assume responsibility in order that rights and freedoms are used,
  4. Treat people equally and justly in order that human rights and democracy are improved,
  5. Make democratic decisions based on cooperation,
  6. Seek reconciliation in solving problems regarding shared life,
  7. Support protection and improvement of rights and freedoms by obeying the rules,
  8. Assume responsibility to improve and optimise shared life conditions.

“Human Rights, Citizenship and Democracy” course, which is decided to be taught at the 4th grade of the primary school as a compulsory course in 2 course hours, has been developed in a structure to ensure that the student basically protects and does not hurt himself/herself, protects and does not damage others and protects and does not damage what is ours. The curriculum consists of six units;

1. Being Human,

2. Right, Freedom and Responsibility,

3. Justice and Equality,

4. Reconciliation,

5. Rules,

6. Coexistence.

            This curriculum aims that students acquire the following values:

  1. Solidarity
  2. Tolerance

  3. Responsibility
  4. Amity
  5. Respect
  6. Benevolence
  7. Selflessness
  8. Peace
  9. Honour
  10. Being fair
  11. Self-respect
  12. Sharing
  13. Patriotism
  14. Freedom
  15. Reconciliation
  16. Equality
  17. Respecting the differences
  18. Sensitivity towards sustain the cultural heritage
  19. Being sensitive towards national, moral and universal values.

 

Non-formal and informal learning

It is a general trend that citizenship education is provided in the form of democratic values and skills by exceeding the knowledge level and that out-of-class activities are increased. In that context, Democracy Education and School Councils projects are implemented in Turkey with the purpose that citizenship knowledge, skills and attitudes are internalised by the students through experience with the practices at school without memorising. In that respect, Democracy Education and School Councils Directive is issued to determine the election procedures and principles and operation of the school, province and Turkey student council at the public and private primary and secondary schools affiliated to the Ministry of National Education.

According to this Directive, School Council elections are carried out in accordance with secret, free, equal, direct and general voting principles. Votes are counted and recorded openly.

School administration guides the promotion works and carries out the control process throughout the election. Posters and placards, banners and similar promotion instruments are hung at places to be shown by the election boards at school.

Each student in the division may run for “division representative”. Division representative is elected with the votes of the students in the divisions under the supervision of the class/division counsellor. School student council is composed of a representative to be elected from each division. Provincial Student Council is composed of the district representatives in the province. Presidents of school councils in districts elect the members of the provincial student council (district representatives) in the first week of November. Turkey student council is composed of the presidents of the provincial student councils.

In respect to non-formal and informal education studies in the field of civil society, seminars and meetings are held to raise awareness in relation to citizenship, democracy and human rights.

 

Quality assurance/quality guidelines for non-formal learning

 

General Directorate of Lifelong Learning in the body of Ministry of National Education is one of the primary policy-making public authority in the field of non-formal and informal learning in Turkey and it sets a framework for the projects and activities in the field of non-formal learning. Within the framework of Turkey Life-Long Learning Strategy Document and Action Plan (Türkiye Hayat Boyu Öğrenme Strateji Belgesi ve Eylem Planı)   covering the period 2014-2018, the objective of raising the consciousness of citizens about participation and encouraging them to be more active citizens is set down.

In that context, Democracy Education and School Assemblies projects are implemented in Turkey with the purpose that citizenship knowledge, skills and attitudes are internalised by the students through experience with the practices at school without memorising. In that respect, Democracy Education and School Assemblies Directive (Demokrasi Eğitimi ve Okul Meclisleri Yönergesi) is issued to determine the election procedures and principles and operation of the school, province and Turkey student council at the public and private primary and secondary schools affiliated to the Ministry of National Education.

According to this Directive, School Assembly elections are carried out in accordance with secret, free, equal, direct and general voting principles. Votes are counted and recorded openly.

School administration guides the promotion works and carries out the control process throughout the election. Posters and placards, banners and similar promotion instruments are hung at places to be shown by the election boards at school.

Each student in the division may run for “division representative”. Division representative is elected with the votes of the students in the divisions under the supervision of the class/division counsellor. School student assembly is composed of a representative to be elected from each division. Provincial Student Assembly is composed of the district representatives in the province. Presidents of school assemblies in districts elect the members of the provincial student assembly (district representatives) in the first week of November. Student Assembly of Turkey is composed of the presidents of the provincial student councils.

In 2016 10 local projects which have been granted by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Youth Projects Support Programme consisted in the developing the civic consciousness and promoting the participation in democratic life.

 

Educators' support

With the purpose of supporting the teachers and administrators in order that citizenship education achieves its targets successfully, it is required that in-service trainings are developed to inform all teachers and administrators about the target, content and implementation of citizenship education and information is provided in relation to out-of-class activities such as trips, etc. which may be used in citizenship education; however there is no regular work in that direction.

The General Directorate of Teacher Training and Education within the body of Ministry of National Education deals with all the issues about supporting teachers. To this end, Teacher Strategy Document (Öğretmen Strateji Belgesi) covering the period of 2017-2023 has been issued. This document is based on three key objectives :

  • To employ well-trained and appropriate candidates as teachers
  • To render the personel and vocational development of teachers sustainable
  • To improve the perception about teachers and strengthen the status of this profession

Teacher Strategy Document (Öğretmen Strateji Belgesi) has an action plan to serve listed objectives above and the action plan reflects the activities and performance criteria in detail.

The training and education of the youth leaders which make up an important portion of youth workers in Turkey are regulated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Directive of  Procedures and Principles of Youth Leadership Training, Development and Working (Gençlik ve Spor Bakanlığı Gençlik Liderliği Yetiştirme, Gelişim Eğitimleri ile Çalışma Usul ve Esasları Yönergesi). In this document, trainings, development and certification of youth leadership are specified in a detailed manner.