Compulsory education to be increased to 12 years in Turkey
Turkish students listen and follow along to a math lesson. Compulsory education soon will include four years of high school. (Photo: Today's Zaman)
Turkey's current eight years of compulsory education will be increased to 12 years per a draft bill prepared by Parliament's Education Commission.
According to the bill, which is expected to be presented to Parliament in the coming days, the current eight years of compulsory education, which only includes a primary school education, will be lengthened by another four years of high school education. The compulsory 12 year education will be divided into three steps: four years for primary school, four years for middle school and another four years devoted to high school education.
In its current form, primary school is an eight-year, uninterrupted basic education that includes middle school education, and therefore middle schools were eliminated. If the new bill comes into effect, middle schools will be re-established because basic primary school education will be separated into two steps.
This change would be introduced gradually. Future students who complete their primary school education will have to register at a secondary school in order to continue their education, but current students won't have to register again to continue on. According to the new bill, a student who completes his four-year primary school education can either continue with his secondary school education at the same school or register at another secondary school.
Meanwhile, if the bill is approved by Parliament, the Ministry of Education will have to adapt the current curriculum to the new regulation. The ministry will introduce more major subject areas to the middle school curriculum. Primary school lessons will be given by classroom teachers, while lessons in middle school will be given by subject teachers. As a result, middle school students will be more prepared for high school since middle school will serve as a transitional stage between primary school and high school.