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EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

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

Last update: 28 November 2023
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.


  • 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 25.06.2012 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.

Within the context of the Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education Project, the curriculum of the Democracy and Human Rights course at the secondary level was prepared as a draft and approved by the Board of Education on 24 July 2013. Basically, the Democracy and Human Rights textbook was prepared in accordance with the aforementioned curriculum aiming to equip our students, in other words, our young citizens with the knowledge, values, attitudes and skills required by democracy and started to be taught as an elective course at the secondary education level in the 2014- 2015 academic year. 

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 culture are improved,
  5. Participating in the cooperative and informed democratic decision - making process,
  6. Seek reconciliation in solving problems regarding shared life,
  7. Support protection and improvement of rights and freedoms by obeying the rules,
  8. Adopting active citizenship and acting accordingly,

  9. Taking responsibility for the improvement and development of living conditions together
  10. Knowing the contribution of the Republic and its values to the developments in the field of human rights, citizenship and democracy.

The “Human Rights, Citizenship and Democracy” course, decided to be taught in 2 hours as a compulsory course in the 4th grade of primary school, aims to provide students with basic values related to human rights, citizenship and democracy, as well as teaching conceptual knowledge. Another aim of the course is to enable students to make this knowledge and values a way of life and culture. The curriculum consists of six units;

1. Being Human,

2. Right, Freedom and Responsibility,

3. Justice and Equality,

4. Reconciliation,

5. Rules,

6. Coexistence.


The” root values” in the curriculum are: justice, friendship, honesty, self-control, patience, respect, love, responsibility, patriotism, helpfulness. These values will come to life both on their own, with the associated sub-values and with other root values in the learning and teaching process.


Non-formal and informal learning

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 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.