Education 2001–2005

Note: Pages in this section have been stored solely for archiving purposes. Information contained here refers to the 2001–2005 CPAP. Follow this link for current details about UNICEF programmes in Turkey.

Photograph by Mahmut Oral © UNICEF Turkey 2003

The first day of the new school term, Çeşme village, Diyarbakır.
Photograph by Mahmut Oral
© UNICEF Turkey 2003

A General Overview

Educated people are more aware of their rights and they are better able to assert themselves in order to ensure that those rights are respected.

Educated people tend to be healthier and happier since they are better equipped to take care of themselves.

Educated people are also able to make informed choices about their lives and their futures.

The cumulative effect of education extends well beyond individual circumstances -- an educated person is able to share his or her knowledge of health within the family and the community in which they live.

Education is a fundamental right of every human being -- this right is enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

The Situation in Turkey

Children continue to be kept from school in many parts of Turkey -- especially in rural areas. Poor physical conditions and the low quality of some schools lead parents to believe that their children are better off at home. Poverty leads many parents to prioritise survival at the expense of their children’s education by coopting them as additional labour resources in order to increase family income. This is especially true in the case of girls -- traditional, patriarchal values place less worth on the education of female family members.

  • Rural-urban migration means that city schools have difficulty providing classroom space and teachers while schools in de-populated rural areas have had to close in the past.
  • Often teachers are not trained to a sufficiently high standard.
  • The poor physical state of many existing schools puts families off enrolling their children.
  • Many children have long distances to travel and attendance figures drop during winter.
  • Many families do not view girls education as being very important -- early marriage is more of a priority.
  • Although a third of teachers are women, most are assigned to the cities and towns and the absence of female role models in villages means that there is little to stir the aspirations of girls.


UNICEF works closely with the Ministry of National Education (MONE) on two projects that aim to improve quality and also ensure equality in education:

  • Activities to Support and Monitor Early Childhood Care and Development (ECD) are designed to ensure the survival, protection and development of all children. The project aims to reduce developmental delays in children, develop and expand the Family and Child Training (FACT) programme through all sectors, and to support and complement all early childcare projects.
  • Haydi Kızlar Okula! aims to achieve gender parity in primary school enrolment by the close of 2005 through the provision of a quality basic education for all girls in fifty-three provinces where the schooling rates for girls are lowest.
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