CMN 167 – PROJECT 10


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The Inequality of the Opportunity for the Education at the Primary School


In Turkey there is a great difference between public and private primary schools regarding their physical conditions and quality of appliance of educational programs. Some studies also show that there differences in primary schools according to the region of Turkey they are in, for example eastern regions have less schools with lesser benefits. In the same way inequality in opportunity to study can be appear in gender differences in Turkey. This essay tried to depict the picture of inequality in primary school education of Turkey. Statistical data is collected from recent studies as well as a questionnaire was conducted with parents in order to understand their perception of differences between public and private primary schools. In conclusion, it was found that there aren’t many relevant studies and statistics collected for inequality in primary schools education in Turkey and that more data is needed for a clearer vision of difference. Also, the effect of income and cultural barriers was detected when parents choose between public and private schools.


Inequality in education is a worldwide issue. The most apparent sign is that in most countries schools are divided as private and public schools. Students who go to public schools are usually less fortunate and they are from lower income families. Even though the educational programs are usually arranged by ministries of education and assumed to be adopted exactly the same way in every school, it is common knowledge that private schools provide benefits of extra curricular activities, better appliance of proposed educational programs and have better physical conditions compared to public schools. Turkey is a great example of this difference in opportunity in educations. The main difference between children of Primary school age is that not all of them get to be educated. This is caused by low income levels of families and lack of birth control and family planning educations in Turkey. Families with lower income tend to give birth to more children as a way of financial support for the family by forcing them to work at younger ages. In Turkey;

A newspaper article;

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Inequality of education also can be seen between children who get to go to school. It is seen as the division of public and private schools. These differences arise according to regions of Turkey, and gender of students. For example in İstanbul there are 2.707 primary schools where as in a city called Van at the eastern side of Turkey there are only 150 primary schools. Even though number of schools are relative to student populations of both cities, it is a drastic difference in number. High immigration seen between cities also creates a cultural barrier for children in education. These barriers in education to children of lower income or immigrate children create long term problems such as lack of job opportunities or disadvantage in job opportunities compared to peers. It also indirectly affects crime rates or social withdrawal of people. This essay will discuss the difference between the educational opportunities of children of Primary school age in Turkey.

The Questionnaire

Firstly a questionnaire was conducted with the aims of an analysis of how parents perceive the difference between public and private schools. This will help to discuss reasons of parents choosing public schools rather then private schools. The results of the conducted questionnaire shows, 95 percent of the families filled in the questions believe that children in Turkey do not have equal opportunities in education. 100 percent of participants think public schools and private schools have differences regarding both their physical conditions and quality of appliance of educational program. Parents who declared they will send their children to public schools either have more then 1 child or have lower income. Results of the questionnaire implicate that parents do not send their children to public schools by choice, but send them because of financial reasons. These results depict a picture of inequality in education depending on the income.

Differences Between Public and Private Primary Schools

In Turkey, private and public schools are totally different. The system is not like the system in USA or Europe. In Turkey, everyone’s education is based on their income. In 2007 a primary school class is found to have 27 students in average, however it is well known that this number differs between private and public schools. Children who have to go public school have many disadvantages. The most significant disadvantages are physical and educational conditions. Some children are taught with Ipad’s, Notebook’s etc. and the some are seeking to find basic school materials such as scissors. Also as it can be seen from the research about difference between public and private schools, in public schools they are are nearly 60 students in a class and sitting 3 by 3 at one desk. But in private schools there are maximum 24 students in a class. Also teacher number per student is also important for quality of education. In private schools, numbers of teacher are roughly 3 times more then public schools. Teacher who works in a private school gets better compensation than who works in public school. This affects teacher’s motivation, so in private school, they tend to work more efficiently and try to get better to not to lose their jobs. Also education is not just Math, Physic or Chemistry. Extracurricular activities are also really important for student development. Private schools have a lot activities like sport, music, design etc. but in public schools students only take curriculum subjects.


My own graphic, which I did in

Regional Differences in Education

In Turkey, all regions are different from each other. Quality of education can be affected by many things, such as attendance issues due to bad weather conditions. Some regions, especially in eastern, are less developed so during the winter months it gets harder for students to go to school. In some areas roads are damaged so students can’t do anything. It is common to hear about students not being able to go to school for a month due to weather. These students get behind of other students who live in other regions, such as Istanbul or Ankara, where there can be a solution to these kinds of problems. So we can see difference between regions affects education. These students who live in different regions, are not equals in terms of opportunity to get education.
39640373Basic Education in Turkey table


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39640373Basic Education in Turkey table

Rate of Primary Schools in Turkey;
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Gender Differences in Education

In Turkey, girls and boys are not equal in many respects. Expressly in education they are totally different for some family. Some parents (especially living in east) thinking that girls must sitting at home. They don’t let their girls to school. They think that the boys are enough to go school. Girls and boys must be equal to take education. As we can see some article about gender differences in education, this situation is nationwide in Turkey. Many campaigns such as Haydi Kızlar Okula have been conducted in order promote education rights of girls in Turkey. The table below shows 2000-2004 increased rates of this campaign in 10 cities.


An article published by UNICEF states that there are roughly 1 million children at primary school level who den’t get to have an education. The difference between genders are 7%, which means there are 600,000 more girls then boys at same level of income who don’t get to go to school.

My own graphics, which I did in


This essay observes inequality in preschool education of Turkey in three aspects. These are gender, region and difference between public and private schools. The claims have been supported by graphs and charts about this subject. T.C. Ministry of Education and Turkish Statistics İnstitution collaborated data in order to understand the level and reasons of inequality of opportunities in education of children. In most of their analysis, they analized the children-teacher ratio in schools of different regions of Turkey regarding gender differences. The main obstacle is that most of their studies are outdated and more recent values are needed. There should be more studies carried out by university’s research teams with more relevant and recent data. Inequality in education can be seen in different forms in Turkey and is a crucial issue affecting the future of children of today. Education is the key to success and status in social and economic life and have a great impact on general economy of the country and crime rates increased by non employed people seeking for money.


• Akşın, S., (2001). “Bir Toplumu Dönüştürmek” Mülkiye, Cilt XXV, Sayı 231, Afşaroğlu Matbaası: Ankara
• ASLAN, Ö. (2007). Yeni Ekonomi: Özellikleri ve Endüstrileri. Sosyal Siyaset Konferansları Dergisi, Sayı 52, ss.299–318, , Erişim Tarihi (14.12.2014)
• DW Akademisi, (2014). Eğitimde Fırsat Eşitsizliği Sürüyor.
. Erişim Tarihi (14.12.2014)
• İŞMAN, A., (2011). Uzaktan Eğitim. 4. Baskı, Nisan 2011, Ankara: Pegem Akademi.
• MEB (Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı) (2012). 12 Yıl Zorunlu Eğitim Sorular – Cevaplar. Ankara, .
• PEGEM, (2013). Eğitim Bilimleri İndeksi. . Erişim Tarihi (14.12.2014)
• Türkiye İstatistik Kurumu, (2014). Eğitim İstatistikleri. . Erişim Tarihi (14.12.2014)


Selin Süt
Tel: 05353424027

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am a psychology student at the Bilgi University. I am writing to invite you to take part in a research for my essay in Inequalities of education in primary schools of Turkey. I am interested in expectations of parents from private and public schools.

If you agree to take part please fill in the attached questionnaire. You are free to withdraw your answers at any time without explanation. Please be assured that all personal details and data collected will be treated with confidentiality, stored safely and disposed of safely when no longer needed. On completion of this study, I will write a brief summary within my essay.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like further information.
Yours Sincerely

Selin Süt


Q1) Do you believe that all children have equal opportunities in education in Turkey?

Yes No

Q2) What kind of differences between public and private primary schools in Turkey have?

Physical conditions

Educational programs


Q3) Will you send your child to a private school or public school?



Q4) How much is your financial income per month?

Less then 1.500 TL

Between 1.500- 3.000 TL

More then 3.000 TL

Q5) How many children do you have?



More than 2

Thank you .



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