High Schools in Turkey
Turkey’s obligatory education has been separated into three phases since 2012, and it lasts 12 years (primary education, elementary education, and secondary education). This system is usually known as “4+4+4.” Children in Turkey were required to attend school for five years until 1997. The 1997 changes mandated eight years of compulsory schooling. In March 2012, new law was passed that extended obligatory schooling to 12 years.
As of now, children will begin primary school in the first month of September after their sixth birthdays and will complete it during the school year in which they turn fourteen. After first four years of education, there will be additional mandatory four years of education in which students will be entitled to choose if they want to study at a religious vocational middle school or a general middle education school. Next comes the secondary education which also comprises of four years education.
Turkey’s formal school age begins at the age of five. The child can attend kindergarten and preschool before that, and the first 12 years of school are considered compulsory.
In Turkey, education is free until you reach university. Migrants can also take advantage of the free public school system. People who came to Turkey for pre-university courses, on the other hand, may have different criteria.
The Turkish public education system is no longer widely used in Turkey, despite the fact that it is free, and most people choose to attend private schools. You must bring a paper demonstrating that the school is the closest public school to your house in order to enroll in a public school.
A glance at Turkish schools
In Turkish schools, uniforms are required. In public schools, the uniform is often dark blue, whereas non-public institutions have more colorful uniforms.
In Turkey, Turkish language instruction is required in all schools. A second language, in addition to Turkish, is frequently taught at a separate expense beginning in the fourth year of primary school. Turkish is the second language in an international school.
- One Academic Year
In Turkish schools, each course lasts 180 days, beginning in September and finishing in January, then again in January and June.
Hours and school days differ a lot from one school to the next. Typically, the school is open Monday through Friday, 5 days a week, and it begins at 8 a.m. and finishes at 4 p.m. There is also a lunch, which is paid for by the parents in Turkish schools.
Summer vacation lasts three months after June. In February, there are also two weeks of winter vacation. Other public holidays, such as Eid, National Sovereignty, and Children’s Day, are also observed by schools.
Types of Schools in Turkey
In Turkey, there are three types of schools: private, public, and international. Before deciding on a school, you should figure out what your long-term goals are during your time in Turkey.
Turkish schools, both private and public, are the best option if you plan to stay in Turkey permanently. International schools are the greatest alternative if you wish to immigrate to another country following Turkey.
- Public Schools
All children, including Turkish nationals and foreigners, are entitled to free primary and secondary education in public schools. Although Turkish is the primary language of instruction in public schools, all children are expected to master a foreign language. The most common languages are English, German, Spanish, and French.
- Private Schools
The Turkish national curriculum is taught in private schools in Turkey, and the language of teaching is Turkish. Bilingual education is available at some of the more renowned private schools.
Expat children who wish to attend a private school in Turkey must take a general exam to establish their level of proficiency.
International Schools in Turkey
In Turkey, there are international schools run by many countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, which follow the same educational system as their home countries.
Most immigrants want their children to attend foreign schools, which is exactly what these institutions are for. The majority of these schools teach in English, but German and French are also taught. In these schools, Turkish is also taught as a second language. The student will receive an international degree at the end of the course.
Each of these colleges has its own set of admissions standards. Because some of them demand you to pass a test in order to be admitted.
- Homeschooling in Turkey
In Turkey, homeschooling is considered illegal. All children between the ages of six and thirteen must attend a public or private school, according to the National Education Basic Law.
Some expat parents exploit a loophole in the law by claiming that it only applies to Turkish children, and as a result, foreigners have had some success with homeschooling. Parents with children with dual Turkish citizenship, on the other hand, will be required to observe the law or risk large penalties or, in the worst-case scenario, incarceration.
How to register in Turkish schools
You must have a residence permit in Turkey and your child must be under the age of 18 to enroll your child in a Turkish school.
You must use your residence card to enroll your child for the first grade at a school near your home. A letter from the municipality establishing your residence and indicating that you live close to the school is also required. At some private schools, you can register your child after paying the whole tuition cost or in installments.
If you have recently moved to Turkey and want your child to continue his studies, his most recent academic record is necessary for registration.
With an original copy of the passport, these documents must be translated and notarized.
Some private schools may require your child to complete a test in order to gain admission.
Due to the high number of applicants to Turkish public schools, you should not delay your child’s enrollment because the school may be full.