There are about 18 million 250 thousand primary, secondary, and high school students in Turkey. Considering these students and their families, nearly two-thirds of the country is directly affected by difficulties in the field of education. Since schools in Turkey have been closed to face-to-face education for about 10 months, problems in education concern everyone.
Teachers from the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) published a report, “Report of Pandemic and Education” in which they shared their evaluations at the end of the first term of the 2020-2021 academic year. In the report titled “Education System Collapsed”, it was called for schools to be made healthy and safe and to be opened immediately.
The report begins with educational statistics revealing that education turned into a market during the AKP government. These data are remarkable because, in the following pages of the report, there are findings that the effect of the pandemic on children is directly related to the income status of the families. Also, attention is drawn to the problems such as handling childcare in the difficult working conditions of the large groups of workers.
In the report, it is stated that the education system in Turkey was already far from providing equality of opportunity; and with distance education, this inequality is much more clear.
The results of this situation are evaluated separately in the sense of students, parents, and teachers. The conclusion of the report is following;
“It is clear what to do: Extraordinary measures should be taken so students should not be away from their school, friends, and teachers no longer. Millions of students who cannot go to school experience not only academic losses but also many psychological, social, emotional, and developmental problems. Schools should be opened to face-to-face education by making them healthy and safe against the pandemic as soon as possible, and efforts should be made to keep schools open within continuous measures.
The resources and facilities of Turkey are more than enough for this. The reason for the inability to open schools to face-to-face education in a healthy and safe manner and the inequality that children of the working-class are facing is the completion of public education in our country which has been ruled by pro-privatization and reactionary governments for decades.
This situation can be changed by organized working families and teachers to defend the right of our children to access public and scientific education.
The Ministry of National Education should stop making vague and irresponsible statements, should do plans to solve the problem of millions of students staying away from education. It should take immediate steps to ensure that our children meet with their schools in a healthy and safe manner.”