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Education, Students & Private Schooling

Education in Turkey has been shown to be incredibly effective and since being established during the Ataturk Reforms following 1924, there has been almost a 100% enrolment rate of all children in the country in public or private education. Over $14 Billion is spent each year on Education in the country and compulsory education lasts 12 years for students between the ages of 6 and 18 and recently the Turkish government has been seeking to enhance this with the aid of computer technology in all public schools across the country.

Pre-primary education can begin for children as young as 3 and lasts until they turn 6. Institutions for children of this age include a range of independent nurseries, kindergartens, practical classes, day cares and child care houses. It’s known that over 260 thousand children are educated each year in this way and over 15,000 teachers are employed in over 11,000 institutions. It should be noted that Pre-primary education is not compulsory.


Primary Education lasts between the ages of 6 and 14 and is compulsory for all children between these ages but is completely free of charge as well. The first three grades teach four core subjects which include Turkish, Maths, Life Knowledge and a Foreign language (Usually English but also commonly German, French, Spanish or a combination of two or more). At the fourth grade, Life Knowledge is replaced by Science and Social Studies. The first four grades are usually called ‘First School, 1st Level’ while the next four grades are referred to as ‘First School, 2nd Level’. At Grade 8, Social Studies is replaced by History and Citizenship. It’s important to note that Private Schools usually teach a higher level of foreign language skills than Public Schools. Across Primary Education, over 11 million students are educated and over 400 thousand teachers are employed in over 35 thousand schools annually.

Secondary Education lasts for another three years after Primary School and to enter, the system varies each year as well as from school to school and region to region. Exams are most frequently required to enter but there can be as many as 3 exams per year or just a singular exam for all three years, and sometimes it’s just about previous grades. The main subjects focused on in Secondary Education are the Turkish Language, Mathematics, Science and Foreign Languages, but these are often broken down further into more specialist areas and examined individually. Each year in Secondary Education, over 2.5 million students are educated and over 140 thousand teachers are employed in over six thousand institutions across the country.