Number of classes taught in Turkish schools may be reduced by half: Minister

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The number of classes taught in Turkish schools will be reduced by half starting next year, Education Minister Ziya Selçuk has announced.

“In March, a program will be announced regarding the number of courses to be taught. It will be realized starting next year. There can be a cut by half [in the number of courses,” Selçuk said in a televised interview on Jan. 20.

“It is not possible for children to take 15-16 classes while expect them to understand, comprehend in depth, and register all of them. The number of classes they are required to take will definitely be decreased,” he said.

“A good education minister works for the future too. Every month, new, tangible and major projects will be announced,” he added.

Selçuk stressed teachers were complaining that they did not want their classes sacrificed because the courses they taught were more important than others.

“Every subject teacher says their classes are too important to give up and that it’s not possible to reduce the number of classes to five or six right now,” he said.

The minister also said teaching licenses, a requirement for non-education faculty graduates wanting to be teachers, will be provided by the ministry and no longer by universities.

Regarding teacher appointments, the minister said the number of teachers to be appointed for the upcoming academic year is not definite yet.

He said the issue of appointments of teachers is not only up to the Education Ministry but also the Treasury and Finance Ministry as it provides the budget.

Every year hundreds of thousands of teachers in Turkey wait to be appointed or given jobs.

Selçuk also touched on the issue of vocational high schools and said that its curriculum has been changed to a large extent and its application will commence this year.

“If we do not arrange vocational and technical trainings, income inequality within society will widen even more. Right now everybody aims to be a higher education graduate. We need to propose realistic and useful solutions,” said the minister.

Selçuk added that the number of schools that accept students with entrance exams will be decreased.

Opportunities will be created for schools with limited potentials, he said.

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