This chapter provides a thematic and chronological overview of national reforms and policy developments since 2020.
The introduction of the chapter describes the overall education strategy and the key objectives across the whole education system. It also looks at how the education reform process is organised and who are the main actors in the decision-making process.
The section on ongoing reforms and policy developments groups reforms in the following broad thematic areas that largely correspond to education levels:
- Early childhood education and care
- School education
- VET and Adult learning
- Higher education
- Transversal skills and Employability.
Inside each thematic area, reforms are organised chronologically. The most recent reforms are described first.
Overall Education Strategy and Key objectives
Presidential Government Program, 11th Development Plan, The Strategic Plan of the Ministry of National Education for the 2019-2023 Term, prepared in line with the top policy documents, includes the general policies and objectives regarding the education system. In the MEB Strategic Plan, 7 goals and 24 targets were determined in order to achieve the vision of “creating an education system that raises healthy and happy individuals who are ready for life”.
Outcome 1: All of our students will be equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitude, and behavior that relate to our civilization, common heritage of humanity and contemporary necessities of our era.
Outcome 2: An administration and organizational structure will be developed and become pervasive, which is based on modern norms, effective and efficient.
Outcome 3: The multi-faceted, cognitive, affective and kinesthetic, development of our children will be supported in early childhood, basic and secondary education.
Outcome 4: It is aimed to educate students who are ready to contribute to the country and the community with regards to social, cultural and economic aspects of development, and to educate in them in secondary education line with their abilities, capacities to have them become problem solvers.
Outcome 5: It is aimed to support individuals with physical, psychological and cognitive disadvantages via improving the provisions of special education and counseling services.
Outcome 6: Vocational and technical education, as well as lifelong learning provisions, will be reshaped in line with the needs of the society, expectations of the business sector and requirements of the knowledge era.
Outcome 7: All of our schools will be transformed into the special-education friendly structure by taking the international norms and standards into account.
Except for these general objectives, there are certain long term strategic plans for higher education and these studies have some daily implications. Competence in higher education refers to what an individual graduated from a higher-education institution is capable of doing, knowing and what skills an individual possesses upon graduation. In this respect, the National Competences Framework defines the competencies in the educational system and prescribes their relations among each other. Turkish Competences Framework has been designed in line with the European Competences Framework and it addresses primary, secondary and tertiary educational strata including vocational, general and academic educational programs and other learning experiences acquired via various learning programs. Turkish Higher Education Competencies Framework was accepted in CoHE’s General Board decision in 21.01.2010 and all of the higher education institutions are to be organized in line with this framework.
A General Look at the Educational Reform Process and Variables
The documents that shape the studies and improvements in the Turkish educational system are as follows: The 64th Government’s Program, 64th Government Action Plan for 2016, Tenth Development Plan, Alignment of the EU Acquisition Program, New Economic Plan, 19th Council Decisions, Lifelong Learning and Action Document within the EU framework, MEB 2023 Educational Vision, Strategic Plan of the MoNE (2019-2023) and Strategic Document and Action Plan of Vocational and Technical Education.
Reorganization studies for the MoNE were enacted in line with the Presidency Governmental System, in the regulation entitled “1st Presidency Organizational Ordinance”, which reframed the scope of the responsibilities to be held by the MoNE. According to this Ordinance, the organization of the MoNE was structured as 1) Central organization, 2) Abroad organization and 3) Peripheral Organization. The central organization is composed of the Minister’s office, Vice Ministers’ office, and 22 working units. The peripheral organization is composed of the city and province directorates of the MoNE. The ministry office for international relations is composed of educational attachés and counselors in the embassies.
Quality Framework of National Education
The key acquisitions of the students, infrastructure, financial and physical infrastructure, preparedness, educational context and environment, participation of the social areas, lifelong learning, mobility, success and transfers, context of monitoring, risk evaluation, monitoring activities, information and communication as well as other variables are included as key standards and criteria. The MoNE schools and their success are monitored and evaluated in terms of those indicators and then reported in order that a reliable, valid and data-driven mechanism shall be activated to help develop educational policies (Decision of the Higher Planning Board, dated 6/3/2014 numbered 2015/6 Official Newspaper numbered 29364 on 23 May 2015).
In addition to those studies, the MoNE and Board of Education prepared secondary-education course programs for some languages and dialects that are spoken across the country by the 2012/2013 educational year. Those languages are Abkhaz language, Adyghe, Georgian language, Kurdish (Zaza language and Kurmanci language (dialects of Kurdish). They are offered optionally.
In addition, the statement "Refugees, temporary protectionists and non-stateless people will be involved in the integration of these pupils into the education system to ensure that they are educated as long as they are present" is stated in the MoNE Strategic Plan (2015-2019). This strategy also sets out the framework for educational and social work for Syrian refugees in our country. In this scope; Migration and Emergency Education Department has been established within the General Directorate of Lifelong Learning.
Standard Systems for Early Childhood Education and Primary Education Institutions
The standard system was developed to improve the educational state institutions affiliated to the General Directorate of Basic Education, including early childhood education, primary and lower-secondary schools. The system aims at collecting the relevant data about the educational provisions in these cycles and analyzing the data to depict a scholarly picture of these institutions. It is developed within the MEBBIS database and as an e-School support module, which enables evaluation of the educational outcomes. The system was first exploited in a 2010-2011 educational year across the country. It is also updated annually depending on the dynamic nature of the educational system and provisions, and also the variability of the “Institutional Standards”.
Three standard domains and, 9 standard and 36 sub-standards are utilized in parallel with these regulations: Educational Administration of Early Childhood Education and Primary Education and Support Provisions for Learning and Teaching Processes (Health, Security and Nutrition).
The ultimate objective of the Institutional Standards is to identify the minimum standards as criteria to approach educational institutions so as to analyze them with regards to their strengths and weaknesses and to offer remedial solutions that are based on educational policies that promote equality in educational opportunities.