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In Turkey education is performed under the supervision and control of the state. According to Article 42 of the Cons- titution of the Republic of Turkey, everyone has the right to receive education. Individuals are educated by orienting them to various programs and schools throughout their education, depending on their interests and capabilities. It is essential that the educational system should realize this orientation.

The objective of education, according Basic Law No. 1739 for National Education, is to educate individuals:

  Who adopt the values of the Turkish nation,
  Who know the duties and responsibilities to their country and have made them a part of their behavior,
  Who can produce knowledge, can utilize the knowledge and technology produced,
  Who are democratic citizens and respect human rights.

Furthermore, the objective of the National Education System also includes preparing them for the future and providing for them to acquire a profession that will contribute to the happiness of themselves and the society.

From the first years of the Republic up until the present, great increases were obtained in the number of schools, students and teachers, and activities aimed at educating qua-lified manpower were made and a vast group of people were educated. The government programs and development plans also place great importance on education because education is accepted as the most important component for economic, technological and social developments in Turkey. As a matter of fact, education is included as the sector with the highest priority in the Seventh Five Year Development Plan for 1996-2000.

Turkey is continuing towards the 2000s to develop her educational system and programs, teachers, infrastructure and educational materials, to educate the Turkish people who will contribute to the world culture and technology. Continuous increases in resources are being made in order to meet the educational requirements of the population and efforts are being expended for the formation of the infrastructure that will meet the goals and expectations in education. Preparations for the Educational Master Plan, including the years 1996-2010, have been made with this objective, and activities are continuing in the direction of making the education flexible so that it answers the individual, national and global demands for education and to facilitate entering and leaving the educational system.

The Structure of the Turkish National Education System

The Turkish National Educational System is composed of two main sections:

  Formal Education
  Non-formal Education

in accordance with Basic Law No. 1739 for National Education. Formal Education means the school system and is composed of preschool education, primary education, secondary education and higher education. Non-formal education includes all the activities organized outside the school or alongside the school. In the 1998-1999 school year, a total of 14,668,444 students received education-training in 64,489 formal and non-formal educational institutions and 512,522 teachers worked in these institutions