World Bulletin/News Desk
Education Minister Nabi Avcı has spoken out against violence against women, arguing that a lack of education and skills leaves young women impoverished and susceptible to all kinds of abuse.
Minister Avcı gave the opening speech of a conference held on Thursday in Ankara to evaluate an ongoing project titled “Increasing Enrolment Rates, Especially For Girls,” which was initiated in May 2012.
The conference was organized by the Education Ministry, Family and Social Policy Ministry and European Union with the aim of increasing girls' attendance at school across the country.
Avcı highlighted the importance of school attendance for young women during his speech by stating that being deprived of knowledge, skills and competence draws girls into poverty and low-status jobs with little security, exposing women to all kinds of abuse including physical violence.
Avcı said the Education Ministry is employing all means to eliminate inequality and discrimination for children who have been deprived of the right to education and that their efforts have received positive feedback.
“We sincerely support any effective projects launched with the intention of achieving the country's objectives in the area of education. The dropout rate of young people between 18 and 24 is very high in Turkey, a result of the [previous] eight-year duration of compulsory education. In order to resolve this problem, the government increased compulsory education to 12 years for the 2012-2013 school year.”
Stating that the government is making efforts to increase enrolment rates across the country, Avcı stated that apart from secondary school, the ministry also plans to increase enrolment rates in higher education. The minister said the government has doubled the number of universities in the last five years to provide greater opportunity for higher education.
“With changes enacted in recent years to the Turkish education system, we aim to increase the enrolment rates for each of the stages of education and increase the duration students attend school. We intend to adjust curricula and teaching methods to help students acquire the necessary knowledge and competence, which are requirements of the information society; to remove the centralized and inflexible elements of the Turkish education; and to turn it into a more flexible structure. Our efforts to achieve these aims are continuing without any interruption.” Avcı noted.
Noting that the continuity of education is as important as enrolment, Avcı stated that any obstacles preventing students from continuing their education should be eliminated in addition to efforts to increase enrolment rates.
Avcı identified the overall objective of the ministry's project as to enhance investment in human capital by raising school enrolment rates, especially for girls, increasing the quality of education and improving the linkages between education and the labor market.
The project is being implemented in 16 pilot provinces identified as having the lowest rates of enrolment, especially for girls. A successful completion of the initial phase will be extended to 43 provinces, including eastern provinces such as Hakkari and Iğdır.
With the project, the ministry plans to increase the enrolment rates for vocational school as well as primary and secondary institutions. The ministry also aims to decrease the number of drop-outs in primary and secondary education, increase the vocational skills and competence of the existing labor force and raise the awareness among families on the importance of education.Last Mod: 10 Mayıs 2013, 10:13