18 April 2014, Friday
Today's Zaman

Turkey launches ambitious FATİH project in public education

6 February 2012, Monday /TODAY’S ZAMAN
A new project, titled the Movement to Increase Opportunities and Technology (FATİH), which seeks to integrate state-of-the-art computer technology into Turkey's public education system, was inaugurated on Monday in a ceremony held at an Ankara school.

FATİH marks the beginning of a new era of information technology in Turkish education, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who attended the ceremony. The inauguration ceremony took place on the first day of the second term of the 2011-2012 academic year. The pilot phase of the project -- which many educators praise, saying it will revolutionize the public school system -- was launched with the delivery of tablet PCs and smart boards to 52 schools across Turkey. The inauguration ceremony launching the pilot phase of the project was held at Sabahattin Zaim High School in Ankara. Education Minister Ömer Dinçer and Transport and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırım were also in attendance.

Speaking at the inauguration, Erdoğan said, “As Fatih Sultan Mehmet ended the Middle Ages and started a new era with the conquering of İstanbul in 1453, today we ended a dark age in education and started a new era, an era of information technology in Turkish education, with the FATİH project.”

Erdoğan also added that the new era has started not only in education but in all areas that are closely related to the educational system.

Saying Turkey is experiencing a historic day with the launch of the FATİH project, Erdoğan said, “With this project, Turkey is radically changing the face and methods of education; Turkey is moving the requirements and technologies of the modern era into classrooms with this project.”

Concerning the criticisms that say this new project will give teachers no role in the learning process, Erdoğan said the teacher’s role will not be reduced; on the contrary, their responsibilities will increase. “Teachers will play a prominent role in fostering the success of the FATİH project,” Erdoğan noted.

The FATİH Project was implemented on Monday, the day that also marks the beginning of the second term in Turkish primary schools and high schools. Schools reopened on Monday after a 17-day term holiday and welcomed back almost 17 million students. Some students experienced twice as much excitement on their first day back. They saw their friends and teachers after two weeks and were also introduced to their tablet PCs and the interactive smart boards that were delivered as part of the FATİH project.

High schools around the country have been equipped with smart boards, and 12,800 tablet PCs have been distributed in 52 schools in 17 provinces within a pilot program.

The 17 provinces part of the pilot program are: Ankara, Balıkesir, Bingöl, Diyarbakır, Erzincan, Erzurum, Hatay, İstanbul, İzmir, Karaman, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Mersin, Rize, Samsun, Uşak and Yozgat.

The project, which is expected to cost about TL 3 billion and will be paid for through the Transportation Ministry’s Universal Service Budget, represents the largest single allocation of resources to education in the history of modern Turkey. With the project, textbooks will be thoroughly eliminated, as students will access course materials using their tablet PCs.

Undertaken by the Ministry of Education and supported by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the giant project is expected, once finalized, to be in use in 570,000 classrooms in 42,000 schools all around Turkey. According to government plans, teachers will be able to instantly access any document around the world they may need for their class, projecting it on the interactive smart board. The project will also facilitate long-distance learning programs while encouraging a gradual transition to e-textbooks and other electronic-learning materials for each class. In the second component of the project, there will be 110 in-service training centers connected to each other through a network that covers Turkey’s 81 provinces for educator training purposes, where all the participants will able to interact with each other live through teleconferencing. The last component is the establishment of a secure and appropriate network infrastructure for all the schools across the country. FATİH was first introduced at a ceremony attended by Erdoğan in November 2010.

I hope the government is being fair and distributing the tablets to the poorest schools across the country.
Terengganu state in Malaysia had started 4 years ago with netbook. The design not attractive at all. But yours look very appreciating.
Abd Wahab al Haj
An admirable project but to rely completely on these PCs is not a good idea. Have the teachers had training in how to fully utilise them? Will the students have access to the internet? Who pays for this and virus protection? What happens when they forget to charge up their machines or someone in the...
Providing Turkish education does not censor what students can access then this has the makings of a really excellent scheme. The young should be encouraged to read widely, including conflicting views and ideas. If it is simply limited to the dictates of the education system then it will really be at...
It's good to use technology extensively in education, though there two points worth mentioning one,how about writing ability of our students because so many students are having great difficulty and anxiety to come to board for writing tasks, second is the eyes health of the students. Using computer ...
Lets just hope the curriculum also reflects the technology strategy. What you learn and what you learn off, is just as important.
Fatih name/word is of Arabic origin,maftouh mean opened up,was Fatih open up by the greeks before conquering constantinpole ,thats he led an invasion?
Orhan Cucukoglu
what about security of the tablets, what about the dangers the students might face if they get face to face with robbers... i better hope that some serious, security has been installed on those tablets for trackability.
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