World Bulletin/News Desk
Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergün on Friday said that the Feb. 28, 1997 military coup had resulted in great damage to vocational education in the country.
One change among many instituted following the coup is the introduction of coefficients for graduates of various schools seeking a place in a university program. The coefficients were used to calculate the final scores of university entrance exams. Graduates of vocational schools were subjected to a lower coefficient than graduates of other schools, making it virtually impossible to pursue any career other than what they studied in vocational school.
The application of a lower coefficient was an attempt to keep students of imam-hatip schools -- classified as vocational schools -- out of the secular higher education system. It has been one of the most heatedly debated issues in Turkey as it was a clear violation of the principle of equal opportunity in education, this being that the practice puts vocational school graduates at a huge disadvantage.
Speaking at a signing ceremony with Education Minister Nabi Avcı, Ergün said he frequently receives complaints from industrialists about the lack of intermediate staff, noting that this is a contradiction given the high unemployment figures in the country.
Ergün said the lack of intermediate staff industrialists are looking for was caused by the Feb. 28 military coup, which he said greatly damaged vocational education.
He said his government has taken significant steps to strengthen vocational education and that interest in vocational schools increased following the elimination of coefficients.
In a landmark move in 2009, Turkey's Higher Education Board (YÖK) abolished the system of using a lower coefficient to calculate the university admission examination (Student Selection Examination [ÖSS]) scores of graduates of vocational high schools.
Under the old system, graduates of vocational high schools -- including imam-hatip divinity schools -- had points deducted from their admissions scores when they applied to a university department unrelated to their curriculum. This system made it more difficult for vocational school graduates to gain entrance to medical school than a student from a normal high school with the same ÖSS score.Last Mod: 23 Şubat 2013, 15:53