“The method to be applied in education and instruction is to make knowledge a practical and useful tool that ensures success of material life rather than an accessory, a tool of administration, or a modern form of pleasure.” said Atatürk, founder of Turkish Republic. If you look at today’s education problems in Turkey, understanding Atatürk’s further perception is not difficult. There could be many changes made in Turkey in politics, economy and many other issues, but the issue that is in real need of change is education and the system. Our schools must be fostered physically and mentally, to overcome problems in the system. And ÖSS (university entrance exam) is one of these basic problems in Turkish Educational System. Inadequate educational requirements and university entrance system which is unfair have important effects on the corruption of Turkish Educational System.


Turkish Educational System is not effective in addressing the varied needs and interests of learners. First of all, insufficient teachers limit the quality of education in primary and high schools. Especially in the past, people could be teacher after graduating from high school. Thus, with these types of inadequate teachers how well students could be educated is evident. In my opinion, these teachers should be eliminated from educational system so that better education can be available. Secondly, course schedules have important effects on students’ performance. Most of the schools in our country have unbalanced schedules. For example, when I was at high school, we were attending two hours in maths, two hours in physics and two hours in chemical experiments, respectively. Schedules similar to our schedule at our high school decrease the performance of the students in the lesson. There might be a music lesson or something like that between maths and science courses. Thirdly, the atmosphere of our classrooms is very unhealthy, especially in primary schools. High numbers of students are put in one classroom to give them education. Generally teachers are facing difficulties such as making their voices heard in the classroom. Additionally, different class systems can be examined. For me, “U” sitting plan would be more sufficient for interaction between the teachers and the students. Fourthly, our present educational system can not produce alternative methods to encourage students to conduct a survey. Course books are only used for filling the students’ brains’ full of information most of which are not useful. For example, course books can be published by MEB with a contemporary content. There may be web links about the topic and there can be more maps and diagrams on the books.


Another basic problem in our education system is university entrance exam named ÖSS. “Life=180 minutes”. I argue with the ÖSS system because it attempts to encompass all the work of a student throughout 12 years of academic life in a 3-hour exam. To me, the situation we face is absolutely unfair. At the exam day, the student might be sick. Although the student is very successful, he may fail because of his illness. Students perceive that ÖSS is the beginning of a new life or the end of the life. In addition to this, parents’, teachers’ and others’ great expectations from the student may lead him to fail in exam.


Because school is not enough to succeed in ÖSS, other education centres named “dershane” are founded all around Turkey. In these foundations students are prepared only for ÖSS. Because the students are considered as race horses, they are made to focus only on ÖSS. Moreover, parents pay lots of money to these courses believing that their children will be more successful by attending these courses. Parents are right; however, for example, my parents have paid to these courses approximately 4.000 YTL in today’s condition. In my opinion to eliminate these problems, the current university entrance system should be completely changed. For example, the effect of grade of high school success in the ÖSS may be increased. With a well-balanced grading system we do not need such a university exam. The other solution is that better system in other countries can be imported. The university entrance system in Germany can be a good example for us. Students are classified into groups right from the beginning of primary school. At high school, students are divided in three sections, namely, gymnasium, realschule, hauptschule. And only the section which is composed of intelligent students is allowed to enter university. The students in that section provided that they can successfully graduate from high school can enter whatever department they want.


As we have seen, Turkish education system is drowning in the quicksand of inadequate physical and mental requirements. If these problems can be solved, it is evident that our education system will be better.

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