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EACEA National Policies Platform


6. Education and Training

6.4 Validation of non-formal and informal learning

Last update: 27 October 2020
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  1. Arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning
  2. Information and guidance
  3. Quality assurance

Arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning

Any and all educational activities outside the formal education form the non-formal education category. As is formal education, non-formal education is also carried out under the administration and supervision of the Ministry of National Education. The widest activity in the non-formal education is the vocational education; and the most important education activity in the vocational education is the apprenticeship education. Other than the formal vocational and technical education, the most important means to learn a profession is the apprenticeship within the non-formal education. Although the apprenticeship education is a type of non-formal education, it is regulated under a law separate from the non-formal education legislation. With the Law no. 2089 enacted in 1977 for the first time, the Law no. 3308 on Apprenticeship and Vocational Education (3308 sayılı Çıraklık ve Mesleki Eğitim Kanunu) entered into force in 1986 regarding the apprenticeship system that is in our education system. The said Law the name of which was changed into “Vocational Education Law” with the amendment of 2001 sets out the rules and regulations on education and training of apprentices, foremen and masters.

In order to apply to apprenticeship education, 4 apprenticeship contracts are obtained from the Vocational Education Centre closest to the business place. After the contracts are filled in completely and signed by the concerned (apprentice, parent and employer), they are approved by the Chamber to which the business is affiliated. Then, the Vocational Education Centre from which the apprenticeship contracts are obtained is applied for enrollment. At the end of the apprenticeship education term, foreman trainees take the first foremanship examination to be done and if they are successful, they receive their Foremanship Certificate from the Vocational Education Centres.

Mastership trainees that complete their professional development and the foreseen foremanship term take the  first mastership examination to be done and if they are successful, they receive their Mastership Certificate from the Vocational Education Centres.

The non-formal education is defined in the National Education Basic Law no. 1739 (1739 sayılı Milli Eğitim Temel Kanunu) as to include any type of education and training that individuals would need throughout their lives. The aforesaid Law enables all private-public institutions to give non-formal education under the coordination of the MoE. Furthermore, the Non-Formal Education Institutions Bylaw (Yaygın Eğitim  Kurumları Yönetmeliği) covers establishment, administrative, education, consultation, supervision and coordination activities of all courses to be opened with approval of Public Education Centres or in cooperation with Public Education Centres and Education Chambers or any other institution other than the special education institutions.  Non-formal education services are regulates under three main sections as literacy courses, vocational and technical education and social and cultural courses. The target group includes the ones that have never been in the education system or the ones at any level of this system or the ones already out of the system. The institution that implements the non-formal education in the public most intensively is the MoE.  Since all of these courses are modular, the participants, if they pass the exam at the end of the education, receive a certificate that is approved by the Ministry of National Education and valid in private and public institutions throughout Turkey.

In order to assist maintaining and increasing employment, improving professional qualities of the unemployed, decreasing unemployment and bringing the groups requiring special polices in the labour market, the Turkish Employment Agency organises vocational education courses, on-the-job education programs, entrepreneurship education programs, programs for public interest and other courses, programs, projects and special practices within the scope of active labour services. The participants in the courses are preferably given vocational qualification certificate that is internationally valid.  In the cases where this is not possible, course completion document or certificate that is approved by the Ministry of National Education or university is given.

The unemployed ones that receive education are employed in the private sector businesses according to their profession and vacancies.  The ones that participate in the on-the-job education are given the On-the job Education Certificate, and the ones who participate in the entrepreneurship education programs are given Entrepreneurship Education Participation Certificate that enables them to avail themselves of the support provided for the KOSGEB ( Small and Medium Business Development and Support Administration) entrepreneurs. KOSGEB provides education and consultation services and support for the SMEs. At the end of the basic level entrepreneurship education program, the participants are given the Applied Entrepreneurship Education Participation Certificate within the scope of entrepreneurship education program.  This document is used in application for the KOSGEB New Entrepreneur Support.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, through the “Handicrafts Education Centres”, is among the institutions giving non-formal vocational education in carpet-rug, ready wear, painting, embroidery, xylography, silver-work and stone dressing areas. activities of these centres of which the subsistence and accommodation expenditures of the trainees are met by the state have recently been supported by İŞKUR (Turkish Employment Agency) funds.  Agriculture Provincial Directorates also organise mobile rural courses. Furthermore, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs engage in non-formal education activities in the rural areas on agriculture and domestic economy aimed at the farmers and families. The successful participants are given certificates at the end of these educations.   

The non-formal vocational and technical education does not have a structured assessment-evaluation and documentation system as it is in the apprenticeship education. In the courses in the non-formal education, an exam is usually applied at the end of the course, the successful ones are given “certificate of achievement” and the failed ones are given the “certificate of participation”.  The certificates and participation certificates given in the non-formal education do not have a certain standardisation.  Furthermore, many short-term course and seminars do not end up with an examination, but tests measuring satisfaction of the participants in the education and the participants are given certificate of participation.


Information and guidance

In the Annual Report of 2016 of the Ministry of National Education (Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı 2016 Faaliyet Raporu), it is stated that works for monitoring and assessing the non-formal education activities will be carried out. The institution responsible for carrying out and monitoring these works is the Lifelong Learning General Directorate under the Ministry of National Education.

Non-formal education activities carried out by the Lifelong Learning General Directorate provide the opportunity for the individuals to improve their professional knowledge and skills as well as increasing their socio-cultural accumulation. When the courses opened in 2016 are taken into consideration, it is seen that most of the trainees tended to participate in the courses aimed at increasing socio-cultural accumulation.

Numerical data on the courses is kept on the e-Kurs system created by the Assessment, Evaluation and Examination Services General Directorate.

Non-formal education institutions under the Lifelong Learning General Directorate organise activities other than courses in the fields like exhibitions, panel discussions, fairs, seminars, folk dance shows. The non-formal education institutions of the general directorate are serving as the pioneering institutions in these fields in their locations. In 2016, 5.806 activities other than courses were organised in which 1.109.879 people participated. Of the participants, %42 is male and %58 is female.

In the non-formal education, various Family Education Programs are introduced for the parents to support their children’s development. With the “Family Education Course Program (for Families with Children between 0-18 Years Old)”, it is aimed to enable children and adolescents to use their existing potential by improving parents’ ‘parenting skills’ and thus strengthening the domestic relations. The program aims to raise healthier and more successful generations by providing education for the parents on child development and education, positive parenting skills, health, nutrition, getting them adopt positive behaviours, social gender equality, domestic communication, domestic violence, domestic conflict and its solving techniques, fundamental human rights and children rights, development characteristics during puberty, risks and problems during puberty, choosing profession-planning the future, starting the school ready, family-school cooperation, building sensitivity to individuals with special needs.

After the first document covering 2009-2013 term, the practice of Turkey Lifelong Learning Strategy Certificate (2014-2018) (Türkiye Hayat Boyu Öğrenme Strateji Belgesi 2014-2018) is launched in 2014.  This certificate is built around 6 main priorities after discussions with the lifelong learning sector actors in line with the experiences gained during the previous certificate, national and international tendencies. These priorities are;

1- To establish lifelong learning culture and awareness in the society,

2- To increase lifelong learning opportunities and presentation,

3- To increase access to lifelong learning opportunities,

4. To develop lifelong guidance and counselling system,

5- To develop the system on recognition of previous learning,

6- To develop the system of lifelong learning monitoring and assessment.

Lifelong Learning General Directorate organises vocational and technical education courses and general course programs for individuals of any age level and group within the scope of lifelong learning. Course programs  are prepared by the commissions formed in accordance with article 48 of the Non-Formal Education Institutions Bylaw (Yaygın Eğitim Kurumları Yönetmeliği) in the Lifelong Learning General Directorate and provincial national education directorates and are implemented after approval of the Ministry. The vocational and technical course programs are prepared and published as modules. Modules consist of training experiences with a beginning and end, basing on individual training, having a unity within itself, designed in a systematical framework.  Framework education programs and module information pages of the non-formal education course programs prepared in this manner are shared on the website of the Lifelong Learning Education General Directorate. Organised non-formal education programs, approval of non-formal education programs, vocational education fields and modules are published on the education programs page. Course programs are prepared in cooperation with other training units of the Ministry, federations, non-governmental organisations, by taking National Profession Standards and Turkey Qualifications Framework as reference and according to Non-Formal Education Framework Course Program (Yaygın Eğitim Çerçeve Kurs Programı), Non-Formal Education Institutions Foreign Languages (A1 level) Framework Course Program and Non-Formal Education Institutions Foreign Languages (B1 33 level) Framework Course Program that entered into force by the Approval of the Head Council of Education and Morality dated 20/04/2016 and numbered 19 that are programs of other training departments accepted by the Head Council of Education and Morality.


Quality assurance

The Law on Vocational Qualifications Institution (Meslekî Yeterlilik Kurumu Kanunu) is one of the most important institutions for improvement and assessment of vocational qualifications and skills in Turkey. This institution is responsible for determining national qualifications in vocational and technical fields, establishing and operating national qualifications system required to carry out activities on supervision, assessment and evaluation, documentation and certification, regulating the matters on the Turkey Qualifications Framework (Türkiye Yeterlilikler Çerçevesi) by taking national and international professional standards as basis. Vocational Qualification Institution follows and supervise features, characteristics and requirements of the vocational documents. It renders the quality on documentation of educations possible and improves that quality.