6.3 Preventing early leaving from education and training (ELET)
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Within the scope of 2015-2019 Strategic Plan of the Ministry of National Education (Millî Eğitim Bakanlığı 2015–2019 Stratejik Planı), policies for each individual to access his/her rightful education under just terms without being affected from economical, social, cultural and demographical differences and disadvantages and to complete this education are discussed under the access to education and training theme. In line with this, the target “to increase participation and completion rates in any type and level of education and training, particularly disadvantaged groups, until the end of plan period“ is accepted as the strategic plan target.
By the Law no. 6287 on Making Amendments in the Primary Education and Education Law and Some Laws (6287 sayılı İlköğretim ve Eğitim Kanunu İle Bazı Kanunlarda Değişiklik Yapılmasına Dair Kanun) that was promulgated in the Official Gazette dated 11/04/2012 and numbered 28261, the compulsory education is increased to 12 years. Per this regulation, increase in the schooling rates in all levels of the compulsory education and training, secondary education in particular, and improvement in indicators of average education term and early leaving from education are expected. Life-time participation in learning, however, is %1,8 in 2006, %2,9 in 2011 when the organisation structure of the Ministry changed and %4,8 in 2014. Turkey has succeeded %66 increase in participation in the life-time learning rate since 2011. With realisation of this target, while an increase is expected in the schooling in every level of formal education and training and participation in the life-time learning, the opportunities of groups requiring special policy, particularly girl students and disabled to access to education, and the share of the private education institutions, a decrease is expected in absence and early leaving.
According to the Report on Policy Proposals for Grade Repetition, Reasons of Early Leaving from School and Children outside the Formal Education in Secondary Education (Ortaöğretimde Sınıf Tekrarı, Okul Terk Sebepleri ve Örgün Eğitim Dışında Kalan Çocuklar Politika Önerileri Raporu) (2013), children that repeat grade, early leaving from the school and are outside the formal education pose a serious hindrance in socially, economically and culturally sustainable development of Turkey. Furthermore, improvement of young population on whom the future of the country is built in terms of social and cultural capital also comes out as a strategic risk factor in formation of a healthy structure of the society.
In the light of the findings obtained within the scope of the Report on Policy Proposals for Grade Repetition, Reasons of Early Leaving from School and Children outside the Formal Education in Secondary Education (Ortaöğretimde Sınıf Tekrarı, Okul Terk Sebepleri ve Örgün Eğitim Dışında Kalan Çocuklar Politika Önerileri Raporu) (2013), policy proposals are tried to be formed by taking the central organisation of the Ministry of National Education, province, district and school level as basis. The policy proposals that are developed based on research findings and outcomes are:
- To increase social awareness throughout Turkey on grade repeating, early leaving from school and children outside the formal education in the general secondary education.
• To establish communication and cooperation mechanism among the MoE, Ministry of Family and Social Policies, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Youth and Sport and provincial organisations of these Ministries on the matter.
• To ensure acquisition of required knowledge, skill and approach by the teacher candidates in teacher training programs on the grade repeating, early leaving from school and children outside the education and training through the cooperation with the YÖK (Higher Education Council).
• To develop projects on the grade repeating, early leaving from school and children outside the education and training within the scope of the class of community service practices in the teacher educating institutions.
• To cooperate with lecturers dealing with research in the university on the education activities directed to the grade repeating, early leaving from school and children outside the formal education.
• To create an optional and transitive system between secondary education programs directed at students with the risk of grade repetition and early leaving from school.
• To ensure that the students are held responsible for only the failed classes instead of the whole grade classes by applying class repetition system instead of grade repetition.
• To ascertain, monitor the students with the risk of grade repetition and early leaving from school, and to take necessary measures.
• To re-regulate the Parent Teacher Association Bylaw to enable parents’ further and more quality participation in the education and training process.
• To introduce legal and organisational regulations aimed at monitoring academic success of all the students in schools and providing make-up education.
• To apply extracurricular activities for pre-puberty and puberty students aimed at improving their social behaviours.
• To prepare an Internet portal containing lesson delivery videos, doing questions, exercises that will support the students on the virtual platform aimed at the classes with low success rate.
The main document proposing solutions in terms of youth work regarding the problems of early leaving from school and absence is the National Youth and Sport Policy Instrument (Ulusal Gençlik ve Spor Politikası Belgesi). Within the scope of this document, there is a target aimed at ensuring regular attendance to school strengthening the measures taken to decrease the early leaving from school rates under the policy field “Education and Lifelong Learning”. Under the policy field entitled “Family” of the same Instrument, it is aimed to increase susceptibility of families regarding the youth and visa-versa, taking of the parent teacher association more active role in the informing activities directed at the youth on family and family education.
Discussing early leaving from school and absence in non-formal education is a result of the education provided mostly by the non-governmental organisations to the youth. Youth non-governmental organisations that prepare projects aimed at contributing in the school habits of the youth, helping with their school life, strengthening the ties between school-student and family are supported by the mentioned granting programs within the Program to Support Youth Projects of the Ministry of Youth and Sports (Gençlik ve Spor Bakanlığı Gençlik Projeleri Destek Programı).
The strategies for measures against early leaving from school and absence and effectiveness of these measures are determined in the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of National Education (2015-2019) ((2015-2019) Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı’nın Stratejik Planı). For the said strategic plan, a supervision and assessment model is formed. The following two strategies are set in this subject.
- Mechanisms for supervising and preventing student absence aimed to prevent early leaving from the education and decreasing absence will be developed.
- A pluralist, participant, transparent, accountable management and organisation structure that is supported with an effective supervision and assessment system until the end of plan term, in which the bureaucracy is decreased will be formed.
Performance indicators on measurements of the success of these two strategies, however, is the percentage rate of the guided and supervised schools and institutions in which risk is determined according to outcomes of the supervision carried out with the supervision and assessment system of the Ministry to all the schools.