Children turning 66 months can enroll in primary school

May 09, 2012, Wednesday/ 15:25:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Following confusion over recent changes to compulsory education, the Ministry of Education has officially clarified the minimum school entry age for primary school. Children who turn 66 months will now be allowed to register at primary schools, according to a circular released by the ministry on Wednesday.

The minimum primary school entrance age was decreased from 7 years to 6 by the recent educational law, which increased the duration of compulsory education from eight years to 12 and divided the 12 years into three stages -- four years of primary school, four years of middle school and another four years devoted to high school -- coined the “4+4+4 system.”

However, the details of the new law regarding the school entrance age had not yet been revealed to the public. The Ministry of Education issued a circular to make the regulation regarding the minimum school entrance age more clear. The circular states that children who turn 66 months will be automatically registered at schools by the ministry.

Students between 60 and 66 months whose readiness for school is seen as sufficient by educators will be admitted at the start of the 2012-2013 academic year if their parents so request. Children between 48 and 60 months will be admitted to preschool.

The circular also reveals that primary and middle school education will be combined under the name of “primary education” while high school education will continue to be defined as “secondary education,” as was the case before the compulsory education law.

Students who complete the first stage will be able to register for middle school through the e-school system, a website which provides information regarding the education of individual students. However, students who prefer religious vocational imam-hatip high schools will have to register at these schools personally.

The Ministry of Education will not deliver separate diplomas for primary, middle and high school. Only one diploma will be given to those students who complete all 12 years of compulsory education.

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