The EFA 2000 Assessment: Country Reports Homepage of the World Education Forum
Contents of country report Homepage of country reports Country reports listed alphabetically Country reports by region

Previous Page Next Page

Graphic –2 The Share of Primary Education in per Capita GNP (not available)

The ratio of the annual cost of one pupil in primary education to per capita GNP in 1990 was 10.3 percent. This figure increased by 12 percent from 1990 to 1992, and thereafter decreased down to 9.6 percent in 1997.

Graphic –3 The Ratio of the Annual Cost of One Pupil in Primary Education to per Capita GNP (not available)

Indicator 9-10 – Percentage of primary school teachers a) having the required academic qualifications and b) certified to teach according to national standards

In view of the fact that primary education teachers have completed at least a four-year bachelors program and have acquired pedagogic competencies through in-service training, as required by the relevant national standards, all of our teachers have been included in the 9th and 10th indicators. Therefore these indicators can be expressed as 100 percent.

In the past years, many of the teachers who were graduates of associate degree programs have taken make-up programs to upgrade their academic qualifications to bachelor’s degrees. While not all teachers have taken these completion programs, their ratio in total was considered to be insignificant since this ratio is very low and these teachers all have at least 10 years of teaching experience.

The qualifications of primary education teachers in accordance with ISCED standards are as follows:

Table –11 The Academic Qualifications of Primary Education Teachers


School Level

Structure of Education


Level of education

Qualification Awarded


Primary Education (age 6-10)

General subjects, professional studies, teaching experience 4 years Education Faculty Primary Education Teachers’ Certificate (Bachelors level)


Primary Education (age 11-13)

General subjects, professional studies, teaching experience, knowledge of branch-specific subjects 4 years Education Faculty Primary Education Teachers’ Certificate (Branch-specific Teachers’ Certificates) (Bachelors level)

Within the Basic Education Program, there are the activities for rendering our teachers computer literate, among the activities for expanding the scope of basic education. The number of teacher trainers has exceeded 1,500. The number of teachers who were trained through the computer literacy courses that are ran by these teacher trainers in the provinces, have exceeded 100,000.

By benefiting from the experiences on the subject of training of teachers and pupils in the computer aided education technologies, plans have been made for in-service training programs in computer literacy. These programs would cover all teachers throughout the country by the year 2000, with priority on teachers who serve at the primary education schools, and make use of existing computer laboratories and teacher trainers in all provinces. Along the lines of work planned, administrators and teachers who serve at two selected primary education schools at each province and district would be rendered computer literate by the end of 1998. This being the first priority; all teachers, inspectors and administrators who serve at all levels of education throughout the country would be rendered computer literate by the end of year 2000.

Indicator 11: Pupil/teacher ratio

The number of pupils per teacher in the academic year 1998-1999 was calculated to be 30 as an average figure for the whole country. This number is 30 in the public sector and 17 in the private sector. Studies era going on for bringing down this figure in the public sector and assuring equity in distribution of teachers.

This effort includes plans for appointment by the Ministry of National Education of about 150,000 teachers, inspectors and school administrators, under the teacher appointment and distribution activities as part of the Basic Education Program, in anticipation of increases in enrolment rates in basic education.

MEB and universities are cooperating for the purpose of increasing the quality of teacher education. The education faculties have been restructured in order to address the need for new teachers under the Basic Education Program. A number of initiatives have been taken, including that the Tertiary Education Council is introducing new education programs for English, pre-school education and grade teachers, while surplus secondary education teachers are being shifted over to primary education. These initiatives are expected to bring about 30,000 additional teachers in 1998, 50,000 in 1999 and 70,000 in 2000. Meanwhile, 17,000 candidate teachers for primary education will be graduating every year from the teacher education programs. MEB has also put in effect arrangements that make it possible for retired teachers to return to service on a voluntary basis.

MEB is at the same time in the process of making a number of changes in its personnel policies in order to assure a rational distribution of teachers. Incentives have been introduced for the teachers who serve in poor and rural areas. In this direction, the proposal for raising the underdeveloped area post adjustments by 60 to 150 percent has been approved by the Government.

Indicator 12: Repetition rates by grade

This indicator was calculated on the basis of data from public schools for the academic year 1996-1997. When the indicator values are examined, it is observed that the countrywide average rate of repetition in grades one through five is 5.7 percent. This rate is about the same for females and males. The eighth grade repetition rate is 2.7 percent overall (for females and males), 2.1 percent for females and 3.1 percent for males.

Graphic –4 Repetition Rates by Grades of Primary Education

A remarkable state of affairs observed in viewing the repetition rates in different grades is that the sixth grade repetition rate is as high as 12.7 percent. One of the reasons for this is that the pupils experience difficulty in adapting to a different program introduced at the beginning of the sixth grade. Prevention of this problem became possible with transition to the eight-year continuous education and thus assuring program integrity. The second reason for this high rate of repetition at the sixth grade concerns the teacher’s approach. The pupils, typically having received education from one and same teacher for a period of five years, thereafter face different branch-specific teachers along with a different program. These circumstance lead to reduction in the amount of special attention paid to the individual pupil. This problem also has been prevented with the introduction of the eight-year continuous education. The pupils are being introduced to the branch-specific courses starting with the fourth grade and thus a soft transition to branch-specific courses is assured, with minimum negative impact on the pupils.

Indicator 13: Survival rate to grade 5

The rate of entry to fifth grade in public schools throughout the country is 98.8 percent, with the 1996-1997 academic year being the reference year. This rate is determined to be 98.6 percent for males and 99 percent for females. This rate is important, because completion of at least the first four years is prerequisite to sustainable literacy. Also, in view of the fact that this rate is at the same time an indicator of "school retaining power", it is seen that the attrition rate until the fifth grade is low. Furthermore, with compulsory education covering age 14, dropouts before this age have been prevented.

Indicator 14: Coefficient of efficiency

The coefficient of efficiency is 66.6 percent on the basis of data from the public schools for the academic year 1996-1997. That this indicator value is low stems from the fact that the data used was not sound. The pupils who had transferred to private schools after he fifth grade have been counted among the dropouts. It is thought that, re-arrangement of the class graduation system along with the transition to the compulsory eight year continuous education in 1997, and the innovations introduced in the education system aiming to improve pupil achievement, would have a positive impact on the coefficient of efficiency.

1.3. Indicators Related to Learning Achievement and Outcomes

Indicator 15: Percentage of pupils having reached at least grade 4 of primary schooling who master a set of nationally defined basic learning competencies

A standard test for measuring the learning skills has not been administered in order to calculate the value of this indicator. Yet, if an opinion is to be offered in connection with this indicator on the basis of the fourth grade programs, it can be said that all pupils who have made the fourth grade possess the basic learning abilities and skills including reading, writing and the simple arithmetic operations. The evidence that would support this assertion is the class graduation system. The program would simply not allow a pupil to make the fourth grade without having learned to read, write and perform the simple arithmetic operations. Annex – 1 is to explain in this connection, the general objectives and the fourth grade specific objectives of the courses in Life, Turkish, Math, Natural Science, and Social Science.

Nevertheless, in order to assess pupil achievement, work, as part of the Basic Education Program targets shall be carried in 1999 and thereafter.

Furthermore, again in connection with this indicator, presented is the work related to fifth grade average achievement levels in Turkish, Math, Natural Sciences, and Social Science, by the Measurement and Assessment Section of MEB Education Research and Development Department. The work was done in accordance with the item definitions on the basis of sampling.

Increasing the Quality of Basic Education

Our Ministry aims

Increasing the quality of basic education consists of five categories of activities:

    1. Incorporating information technologies into the education program.
    2. Providing for education materials and textbooks.
    3. In-service training of education staff.
    4. Pupil assistance, to help the poor families cover the additional expenses brought about by the extension of basic education up to eight years.
    5. Assessing learning achievement.

In-service training shall be managed by inspectors at the provincial level, on the basis of modules designed by MEB. Training shall include, inter alia, pedagogical methods, learning assessment, community participation, class management and. Materials developed through the Pilot Programs on teaching under difficult learning environments and participation of parents in school activities shall also be put to use in these training programs. This two-week training of teachers shall be supplemented by the inspectors’ field trips and, in rural areas, monthly seminars to be held at central villages.

The training of the administrators at the Provincial Directorates of National Education and the school administrators aim improvements in decision making abilities, community and parental participation in school business, level of professional development of teachers and management capacities at the school level. MEB is currently implementing a series of in-service training courses for administrators in the subjects of education planning, communication, leadership training, and use of technology at schools.

The program shall also address the shortage of counseling teachers, currently employed in only one percent of the urban schools, by increasing awareness of all staff and especially staff at schools with no counseling teachers. MEB is currently in the process of developing source references for pre-school and primary education teachers and school administrators and it plans to incorporate training for counseling in its in-service training programs.

Providing the Teaching and Learning Materials

The Program, for the purpose of improving achievement in the under-equipped village schools, shall provide teaching and learning package to all village schools in the academic year 1998-1999. And in the academic year 1999-2000, a set consisting of textbooks shall be forwarded to all village schools.

Social Aid to Pupils

Through the Program, MEB’s existing social aid program shall be supported and expanded in order to improve the performance and school attendance of low-income pupils. MEB is currently providing school uniforms to pupils at the schools in rural areas and the poor pupils at the schools where bussing is practiced, by making use of females’ vocational schools and adult training centers. MEB shall expand this activity through the next three years by calling upon NGOs including school-based community organizations, in such a way that would cover pupils in need.

Assessing Learning Achievement

The analysis of the learning outputs of the Basic Education Program is the basic tool in monitoring the impact of the Program execution and progress in quality. MEB shall be administering research covering 70,000 pupils at 500 primary education schools for the purpose of assessing their achievement levels in four areas, namely, Turkish, Natural Science, Math and Social Sciences. This research will be include computer literacy and foreign language efficiency in 1999 and onwards.

Ş Studies on Learning Achievement

Our Ministry’s Department of Education Research and Development (EARGED) have administered tests at the Curricula Laboratory Schools (MLO) in the academic year 1997, in the areas of Turkish-Math-Natural Science-Social Science. The achievement averages were computed on these items along the lines of these tests relative to MLO (Annex-1).

The Characteristics of EARGED Tests

  1. The questions in the tests developed by the Measurement and Assessment Section are prepared in accordance with carefully conducted curricula analyses. Each question is discussed in minute detail at the stage of preparation. The pupil achievement that is being measured by the question is clearly described and defined. The tests involve not only multiple choice questions, but also open-ended questions the answers to which the pupil would have to write. Thus an attempt is undertaken to bring out all information relevant to the pupils’ achievement.
  2. Administering them to a pre-selected group of pupils first tests the questions developed by the Measurement and Assessment Section. The statistical analyses are applied to each question at this stage with finest detail and the questions that appear to be problematic are not used in the final tests. Consequently, with the technical characteristics of the questions having been pre-determined, the technical qualities of the tests are improved. Specifically, the two technical qualities that are emphasized in international programs of testing are satisfied by EARGED tests to the extent possible. These are (a) the test scores being indicative of the pupil achievement with minimum error and (b) whether the test scores indeed reflect the aspects of pupil achievement that are desired to be measured. These qualities are possible only with pre-tested questions and such concern is held only in administering EARGED tests in Türkiye, with maximum effort placed in pre-testing to assure that the tests would bear the two qualities stated above. The information that is acquired through the application of these tests would be used in some decision making process, whatever the objectives may be. The concern described above would in the final analysis improve the accuracy of the decisions made.
  3. In the tests developed by the Measurement and Assessment Section, pupil achievement is viewed as a multi-dimensional matter, rather than uni-dimensional, and the test questions are prepared accordingly. For example, in a natural science course, alongside the questions to which the pupil could respond by drawing upon his or her memory, other groups of questions also are included in an attempt to determine if the pupil is able to interpret a graphical representation accurately, or recognize the control variables in a laboratory experiment. In the same manner, in a test for a Turkish language course, the pupils’ mental skills such as understanding a passage, or identifying the theme in a piece of text, are examined alongside their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. In the end, these different groups of questions lend themselves to evaluation separately in each group, thus discovering the pupils’ strengths and deficiencies in different mental skills. An analysis in the sense and to the extent described here is not taken into consideration in any other testing program in Türkiye.
  4. Alongside the tests, the Measurement and Assessment Section administers also a survey questionnaire in order to acquire certain information about the pupils’ family structures, their attitudes, their habits in studying, and how they go about working through the course subjects. This information is used together with the achievement test scores, thus identifying leads as to the factors that might be affecting the pupils’ academic achievement levels.
  5. The tests developed by the Measurement and Assessment Section are implemented under fully standard conditions, and care is taken, by taking all possible precautions involving the provincial administrators, the test administrators and the teachers, precautions to assure, that the information collected reflect the reality in a most accurate manner.
  6. The information collected through the Pupil Survey is producing a profile relevant to determining the pupils’ family structures, identifying their in-class activities, and their opinion and thoughts about the natural science courses. Such information has never been collected with a scope as comprehensive in any other test program.

Tests were given to 5th grade pupils at the 208 Curriculum Laboratory Schools (MLO) throughout the country on June 2-6, 1997, in Turkish, Math, Natural Science and Social Science. Four different but parallel question books were used for each subject area in these tests. The number of pupils involved in these tests are given in the table below.

Table –12 The Number of Pupils taking the Tests with Different Question Books


5th Grade

Question Book















Natural Science





Social Science





Indicator 16: Literacy rate of 15-24 year olds

Data not available.

1.4. Indicators on Adult Literacy

Indicator 17-18: Adult literacy rate and Literacy gender parity index

Literacy rate in the 15 plus age group in Turkiye in 1997 is 83.4 percent. This is an indication of the efficiency of primary education and /or efficiency of adult literacy programs. While this rate is 94 percent for males, it is 74.4 percent for females. Studies are going school, in view of these figures, to attract especially women to non-formal education and training programs in order to raise the literacy rate in Turkiye to figures near 100 percent.

Throughout Turkiye, the gender parity index for the 15 plus age group has been calculated to be 0.8. The gender parity index for the 15-24 age group is 1.0. This figure indicates that there are basically no gender inequalities as regards literacy.

Literacy Program Activities

For a country to attain its economic and social development objectives, it needs well-educated people who can perform various functions through the process of development, including planning, managing and organizing. In this process, priory needs to be given to improving the literacy skills of our young females and women who have been deprived of education for various reasons, and raise them as good persons, good citizens and good professionals who have the qualifications that can respond to contemporary needs, who have adopted the national cultural values and who contribute to the family budget and to the national economy.

While the large majority of the population in Türkiye still lives in rural areas, some of the urban centers are receiving intensive migration from the rural areas. The economic and social problems that are experienced because of migration are creating an impact especially on young females and women.

"Non-formal Training" is the shortest way to target young females in rural areas and those urban centers that receive intensive migration and help improve their social and economic status.

Our Ministry has implemented the "Project for Improving Education of Young Females and Women" in May, 1997, in order for improving the literacy skills and education levels of young females and women who have passed the age of compulsory education, and assuring that they acquire skills and vocations with which they could contribute to the economy.

Under this Project which is being implemented countrywide, 6,332 courses had been opened by September 1st, 1998 and 134,541 of our citizens (including 87,764 women and 46,777 men) received training.

Onwards from September 1st, 1998, 3,470 courses have been opened countrywide, through which 74,339 citizens (33,439 women and 40,900 men) have received training. Intensive work in this area is continuing.

Table –13 Literacy Courses and Numbers of Trainees throughout Turkiye


Number of Courses






















































1.5. Training in Essential Skills

It has been concluded at the national education councils convened at various times and stipulated in various documents of development plans and government programs that effective and sustainable measures would be taken in order to respond to people's general education needs, render them active producers rather than passive consumers by developing their occupational skills, and thus to raise the qualified manpower that the labor markets demand.

In our country, which is undergoing social change due to developments and technological improvement especially in communication and transportation and the quick pace of industrialization and urbanization, the society bears the characteristics of a developing society, and is simultaneously harboring the structural qualities of both the industrial society and the information society, along with the associated values, modes of behavior and institutions.

As such, the leading responsibility of MEB General Directorate for Apprenticeship and Non-Formal Training is to raise the manpower required by the development, along with citizens who participate in the democratic processes in a conscious manner, with their constitutional rights and freedoms as upheld by the democratic and social state of rights, contributing to society's attaining contemporary civilization and adapting to changing conditions.

General Directorate is an important organization, with the means to take non-formal training services to the even the most remote units of settlement, with its network of public training centers.

People in all age groups and with any level of education or income are able to participate in the programs, courses and other activities in the areas of literacy, occupational knowledge and skills and social and cultural development.

In 1960s and 1970s, the course activities were especially oriented towards imparting occupational knowledge and skills. From the end of 1980s onwards, more and more emphasis and priority have been given to imparting skills and attitudes required by the information society and raising the qualified manpower needed in the labor markets.

Women constitute 80 percent of the participants in the activities that are carried out with the support of private organizations, as well as public organizations in addition to our Ministry, pursuing occupational and social objectives.

Beginning in 1990, the public training centers have introduced important projects towards women's education and employment in our country. In these projects, while literacy and occupational skills are imparted to trainees, they may also benefit from employment opportunities through the production activities that are carried out as an integral part of the training activity.

Through the protocols concluded with the Union of Carpet Exporters and Sümer Hali A.S. in 1994 and 1995, employment of especially women with low levels of education was made possible through the training activity. The number of women employed in this fashion is today around 40,000.

Significant numbers of our citizens also have received training in various areas of occupation including ready-to-ware, textile, chinaware and knitting, along with assistance in finding employment. With the motivation of the principle of "Life-long Training", courses in occupational, social and cultural subjects are also offered as needed to those other than the illiterate and the unqualified.

The public training centers throughout the country offer about 300 hundred different courses. The number of different courses that can be offered, however, if and when there is demand, is around 1000. Our Ministry is continuing work for improving the quality of non-formal training activities, as well as work for assuring validity of the course certificates awarded, i.e., validity in terms of equivalence with formal education. When this work is completed, the quality of the existing courses and the activities will have been improved.

Table –14 The Numbers of Courses and Trainees at the Public Education/Training Centers

Academic Year

Number of Courses

Number of Types of Courses

Number of Female Trainees

Number of Male Trainees
































1.6. Education for Better Living

Distant Education through the Means of Mass Communication

Our Ministry is providing distant education services in order to assure "compulsory primary education equality" and to support complement education offered at the institutions of primary and secondary education. The distant primary education schools and the distant high schools are parts of the distant education services.

The Distant School of Primary Education

The distant school of primary education was initiated together with the eight year compulsory continuous primary education. The Distant School of Primary Education was initiated to provide a distant education opportunity for completing one’s eight year primary education, for those citizens, residing in Türkiye or abroad, who had completed primary school but failed to attend the secondary school.

The Distant High School

This institution serves to those who, for various reasons, had failed to attend the institutions of formal secondary education and passed the age of formal education, as well as those pupils of secondary education who wish to switch to distant education.

Furthermore, in the 1995-1996 academic year, "Vocational Distant Education Practice" has been initiated. The purpose of this initiative is to provide education opportunities to those citizens who had completed their primary education and failed, for various reasons, to receive vocational education; and to help those who failed to enter an institution of tertiary education in gaining occupational knowledge and skills. In the courses on subjects of general culture, as well as the theoretical courses in occupational subjects delivered through the means of distant education, the pupils participate through the "vocational system tests". They participate in other theoretical courses and the applied courses in vocational subjects at the vocational high schools designated in the provinces, through face-to-face education, during the evenings and weekends. The distant high school directorate awards vocational high school diplomas to those pupils who have completed the "joint courses" and attained graduation credits.

Other Education Broadcasting

TRT – 1 (Turkish Television Channel 1)

The purpose of TRT-1 What’s In, keeping in view that this channel reaches the broadest segment of the audiences, is to provide information and news to audiences countrywide in various groups of age, occupation, education and cultural accumulation, to help the national cultural integration, education and development, to entertain and to respond to the need for music.

TRT – 2 (Turkish Television Channel 2)

The purpose of TRT-2 Culture & Arts is to assure that our cultural development keeps up with social and economic change, to develop our national treasures in culture and arts and diffuse the same through groups of audience, to demonstrate the universal aspects of culture, to help expand the knowledge of our citizens in all groups of age, occupation, education and cultural accumulation, help them improve their understanding of culture and arts, and address to their needs for music, entertainment and news.

TRT – 3 (Turkish Television Channel 3)

The purpose of TRT-3 Youth & Sports is to address in particular to the needs of the youth for education, culture, drama, music and news programs, as well as the sports programs for the general audience.

TRT – 4 (Turkish Television Channel 4)

The purpose of TRT-4 Education is to assist in the formal and non-formal education of the pupils in secondary and tertiary education.


The purpose of TRT-GAP is to assist, in order for the Southeastern Anatolia Project to be built upon a safe base, with developing the social, cultural and psychological atmosphere as needed, with building up educational, cultural and economic accumulation in the Region, with demonstrating for the benefit of the general audience the contributions of GAP to the Region and the country in general, and with assuring national unity.

TRT – Data Broadcasting

The purpose of data broadcasting is, along the lines of agreements concluded with various sources of information, to transmit commercial and educational information to subscribers’ personal computers by using VBI in television transmission.


Data collection emerges as a problem in forming EFA (Education For All) indicators. That the data definitions and suitable data necessary for the indicators in question were not on hand, and also that sampling work had to take long periods of time, raised problems in our work. The problems encountered in data collection also faced us as problems from the point of view of data reliability. This is a "general problem" in data collection activities of the Ministry of National Education and the State Institute of Statistics. Furthermore, as the State Institute of Statistics lacked the age group projections on the basis of provinces, the indicators could not be worked out on the basis of provinces either.

Consequently, along the lines of the targets specified in the Development Plans, steps have been taken in the direction of becoming an information society, with work having been started for building up a structure that would produce, collate and share information through networks.

Also, for the purposes of computer aided education, courses have been opened in the subjects of using networks and education software and programming.

Work for implementation of all the sub-systems of MEBSIS -- the National Education Ministry Integrated Management Information System Project – is continuing. This project is intended for connecting our Ministry’s central organization units to a central data bank through the computer networks to be built, thus installing a system, at the most favorable cost possible, to provide the right information at the right time and place with necessary levels of detail. In order have the MEBSIS project up and going with all of its sub-systems, work is continuing in connection with ILSIS (The Provincial National Education Directorates Information System Project) under NEDP (The National Education Development Project).

Under the ILSIS project, computer systems have been installed at 80 provinces as well as all districts of the province of Ankara and 34 schools in Polatli district center. Work is in progress, at a high tempo, in order for this system to be completed as soon as possible.


Contributions under Law No: 4306, Donations and Aids

Ministry of Finance carries out the business of collecting and keeping special revenues and allocations records in connection with the contributions and payments instituted under the Provisional Article 1 of Law No: 4306 (published in Official Gazette No: 23084 on August 18, 1997, amending the Primary Education and Training Law, the Basic National Education Law, the Apprenticeship and Vocational Training Law, the law concerning the Organization and Duties of Ministry of National Education and Law No: 3418 of March 24, 1988, and instituting education support charges on selected transactions).

The following priorities have been set as the basic strategies in using the sources provided through Law No: 4306:

  1. Achieving a better balance countrywide with respect to class sizes, beginning with the settlements where the class sizes are above the country average.
  2. Switching to all-day education from two-shift education.
  3. Reducing the class sizes to below 30 around the country.
  4. Building, initially, at least one sports facility at each center of district or sub-district, and then, in phases, first providing a sports facility to each education district, and finally a sports facility to each school.
  5. Expanding computer assisted education to all primary education schools, beginning in 1998 with two primary education schools in each province and district.
  6. Benefiting from computer laboratories in teaching the pupils at least one foreign language, from the fourth grade on through the eighth grade, beginning with schools that have staff suitable for this purpose.
  7. Establishing libraries at all schools, beginning with YIBO, PIO, and central schools in bussed education in rural areas.
  8. Establishing workshops in all primary education schools, beginning with those in cities and towns with low levels of income.

In order for expanding primary education in accordance with the established priorities, the following measures are envisaged as regards the school buildings:

Previous Page Next Page