17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

High schools to be more accessible for disabled students

9 August 2012, Thursday /BURAK KILIÇ
The Ministry of Education has mobilized its resources to make 1,000 high schools in Turkey suitable for disabled students before the start of the new school year.

With the new compulsory education law, the duration of compulsory education was increased from an uninterrupted eight years to 12 years, divided into three four-year stages: four years of primary school, four years of middle school and another four years devoted to high school education.

Since high school education has been made compulsory, the Ministry of Education has moved to improve the accessibility of high school buildings for disabled persons, primarily for physically impaired students.

The ministry has launched a project in which it will improve accessibility to 1,000 high schools in Turkey. A large part of the project will be conducted in İstanbul, which has about 45,000 physically handicapped students. Within the scope of the project so far, ramps have been built in 340 high schools in 39 districts of the city to make entrance and exit of high schools easier for physically disabled students using wheelchairs. Toilets and sinks in the bathrooms of those high schools have been renovated for better wheelchair access.

Door handles have been moved to a height accessible for disabled students, and disabled lifts were built in these schools. The renovation in high schools is largely complete, and the ministry plans to finalize it before the schools reopen.

Disabled students wanting to attend these high schools must apply to commissions established for this purpose within provincial or district education directorates. These commissions will direct disabled students to the nearest possible facility. If the number of disabled students is relatively high in a particular school, special education classrooms will be provided for students. If the number of disabled students applying to a high school is low, the disabled students will attend classes in rooms with non-disabled students.

Speaking to Today's Zaman, İstanbul Provincial Education Director Muammer Yıldız said that accessible school buildings would be provided for disabled students not only in high schools but also in primary and middle schools before the start of the new school year.

Free school transport to be provided for mentally impaired students

The Ministry of Education will provide free school transport for mentally impaired students in the 2012-2013 school year. Eligible students will be collected from their homes and taken to school in the morning and conveyed to their homes in the afternoon. However, the same service will not be provided for physically disabled students, who often experience difficulty reaching their schools.  

Fatma Özkan, the mother of a physically impaired student, told Today's Zaman that the state should also provide free transport for these students. She added that she wants her son to be able to complete his education.

NATIONAL  Other Titles
Chief ombudsman laments low implementation of KDK recommendations
'Banning social media disaster for any government's global image'
Nana Zeyini dies at age of 120
Turkey's Gül says candidacy in presidential election not yet settled
92,000 die of cancer each year in Turkey
Ministerial bureaucrats purged after being profiled by MİT
Purges in police force leading to higher crime rate
Four-year-old dies after being found with slit throat, wrist
Report: Naval command allegedly profiles personnel
PM avoids suing critics of corruption out of fear ‘truth may come out'
Armenian Akdamar church restoration nears completion
Ruling AK Party to determine presidential candidate toward end of May
Probe launched into Afyonkarahisar explosion on suspicion of terrorism
Legal complaint issued over Mazhar Bağlı’s hate speech
American journalism school offers free online training in Turkish
AK Party deputies pass MİT law article-by-article despite warnings
AK Pary government punishing reassigned police officers
Commemorations for former President Özal, supporter of Turkish schools abroad
Gag order on case file in Yazıcıoğlu's death lifted
Erdoğan threatens judges, prosecutors in party group speech
Opposition leaders say PM turning Turkey into intelligence state
Opposition CHP leader likens Erdoğan to Hitler, Mussolini
Nearly 90 police officials purged in southeast Turkey
Nearly 280 police officers reassigned in four provinces
Twitter executives meet with Turkey's President Gül