The purpose of this research is to investigate “access to education” in Turkey. For this purpose, (1)the determinants of accessing education in Turkey, (2)the current situation about access to education as of 2016, (3)access to education under the emergency situation, and (4)the policies and projects sustained for access to education were examined.
In this research, exploratory case study design and document review technique were used. In this process, only the primary resources were gathered and all the valid and current resources available were included. The obtained data were interpreted objectively by sticking to the resources.
The findings are as such:
(1) Gender, region, level of income, traditional family values, father education level, mother education level, and family’s social status are the determinants.
(2) Access to pre-school education in Turkey has been on the increase for a decade. The schooling rates are; 11,74% for age of 3, 33,56% for age of 4, and 67,17% for age of 5. The schooling rates at primary level were decreased from 96,30% in 2015 to 94,87% in 2016. The schooling rates at secondary and high school level continued to increase in recent years. It is 94,39% at secondary level, and 76,79% at high school level. However, absenteeism is a big problem at these school levels.
(3) In the terror zone, education was interrupted; teachers were moved away, school buildings were damaged, therefore additional education activities were implemented. In Turkey, 310.000 Syrian children study at the schools in the temporary sheltering centres, state schools, prefabricated schools built for Syrians, schools opened by some non-governmental organizations and municipalities. However, still over 300 thousand Syrian children do not go to school.
(4) Policies and projects for access to education;
• Projects for decreasing absenteeism: Project for Increasing the Attendance Rates for Primary Education Institutes, Project for Distributing Milk and Dried Fruit at Primary Schools,
• Projects for social gender equity: Project for Improving Social Gender Equity in Education, Project for Increasing the Attendance Rates of Girls, Project of Count Me In,
• Policies for improving the regional equity: Regional Boarding Secondary Schools, Mobile Teaching, Accommodation Services.
Access to education is effected by deep structural problems. Although, it seems there are efforts to ensure access to education, permanent and effective solutions seem unobtainable with short-term policies. Achievement on social change is a prerequisite for satisfied solutions. Besides, long-term policies for access to education could be more effective, permanent and sustainable.