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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Developments and current policy priorities


8.Adult education and training

8.2Developments and current policy priorities

Last update: 27 November 2023

According to the 42nd article of the Constitution of Turkish Republic, “no one shall be deprived of the right of education”. Within this frame, adult education in Turkey is a right for citizens and a duty for the state. The state carries out this very duty by providing institutions, designing and running programs, and by cooperating with the state and private institutions to offer mass education for all age groups of adult citizens.

Regulations regarding adult education in Turkey are as follows:

Duties of the General Directorate of Lifelong Learning were determined on the Presidency Organization dated 10.07.2018 and published in the Official Gazette.

• To carry out studies in order to disseminate education and training throughout life to implement, monitor and evaluate them apart from compulsory education,

• To carry out open education services with non-formal education and training,

• To provide education and training in the fields of general or vocational and technical education through non-formal education, or general education,

• To prepare the education and training programs, textbooks, educational materials of non-formal education and training schools and institutions and submit them to the Board of Education and Training,

• To carry out other duties given by the Minister.

Basic Law of National Education No. 1739 regulates the general situation, content, objectives of non-formal education, cooperation and coordination with other institutions.

Law No. 3308 on Vocational Education is the basic law covering vocational education at all levels and types (formal, non-formal and apprenticeship). It includes subjects related to adult vocational education (foreman and master training, planning of vocational training, participants of vocational training and responsibility of special practices in vocational education, finance of vocational education etc.). 

The Law No. 2841 on the "Literacy of Citizens Who Don't Know How To Write and Read Out of the Compulsory Primary Education Period" regulates the issues related to literacy of illiterate adult citizens and providing them with a primary education diploma.

Education services are provided for adults by special various courses (distance courses), distance education courses, motor vehicle driver courses and special in-service training centers opened under the Law on Private Education Institutions (5580). Programs are offered in the fields of vocational education and personal development in private education institutions opened under special courses.

With the 5544 numbered Vocational Qualifications Authority Act, education in Turkey has gained a new dimension in terms of national professional standards and the handling of certain issues. This development leads to new regulations (programs, qualifications and providing professional standards) in non-formal education activities.

The Law on Primary Education and Education, No. 222, dated 5/1/1961 and numbered 1739 on the Law of National Education, dated 5/1/1961, published in the Regulation on Lifelong Learning Institutions, out of the Compulsory Primary Education Period on 16/6/1983 The Law on the Making of Literate Citizens Who Are Not Able to Read and Write, or Making Education at These Primary School Level, Law on Vocational Education (Law No: 3308 dated 5/6/1986) with the Presidency Decree No. 1 on 10.07.2018 was prepared based on the Decree Law on the establishment, task, management, education, training and functioning of the lifelong learning and private institutions and organizations, municipalities, professional organizations. The aim of this is to regulate the principles and procedures related to management, education, training, production, guidance, supervision for individuals who will be work outside the legislation of private education institutions in the cooperation of associations, foundations and voluntary organizations with lifelong learning institutions.

Literacy courses and Turkish language training for foreigners are carried out by the public education centers in all districts throughout the country and those who successfully complete the courses are given the documents equivalent to the formal education diploma.

According to the Law on Vocational Education (3308), the main executive body in all kinds and degrees of formal, non-formal and apprenticeship training is applied at national level. The board determined by the The Vocational Education Board established under the coordination of the Ministry of National Education on the Presidency Decree of 10.07.2018 and numbered 1 and vocational education board are established under the governorship of the provincial governor.

According to Article 3 of the Law on the Amendment of the Decree-Law on the Organization and Duties of the Ministry of Education and the Law No. 6764 dated 02.12.2016,  regulations for the work and operations related to vocational training centers from the Regulation on Lifelong Learning Institutions were prepared to provide general and vocational education of apprentices, masters, the task of which was given to the General Directorate of Vocational and Technical Education.

Law No. 3308 - Title of Equivalence- Article 35 - (Amended: 2/12/2016 - 6764/46 art.) Attendants, masters and masters who are successful in exams held at the end of this training and whose scope, terms and duration are determined by the Ministry or compensated training graduates of secondary education institutions are given a diploma of the profession they have completed. Professional competencies related to previous learning are determined by examination based on occupational standards and levels. In accordance with the provisions,  recognition of prior learning and procedures and principles on equivalence are regulated by a regulation issued by the Ministry. The trainees who have successfully completed the non-formal education courses opened by the public education centers are subject to the provisions of Article 35 of the Vocational Education Law no. 3308 and the Law no. 1557502 on the Recognition of Prior Learning and the Equivalence Directive no. Those who complete training programs can attend the journeyman or mastership skill exams to be realized in the training centers.

For the dissemination and development of adult education in Turkey, the projects affaliated to the World Bank and the European Union are developed and implemented. In addition, many collaborative protocols have been signed at national level, and projects on adult literacy, civic education and vocational and technical education are being implemented.

With the projects from the European Union, mobility and partnership opportunities can be significantly strengthened and opportunities for adult education, tertiary education/vocational training students, teachers, trainers and youth workers can be increased (National Agency 2017 Annual Report will be referred to the relevant legislation).

The Education Program for the Development of Basic and Professional Skills, one of the priority transformation programs of the 10th Development Plan covering the period 2014-2018, was established within the framework of the relationship between vocational and technical education and employment. The program emphasizes the importance of individuals in terms of the development of the human resources in our country, as well as the basic skills required by the business life, as well as the professional skills. In addition, this program aims to provide individuals with basic skills such as information and communication technologies, foreign language, financial literacy, problem solving, critical thinking, communication, leadership, career planning and job search.