Thursday, June 24, 2010

Keeping Daughters (and Sons) In School

A recent report put out by the Education Reform Initative takes a look at the nubmer of children who either do not go to school or do not go onto receive a seconday education. As expected, the document confirms that the percentage of girls not in school is much higher than that of boys, though the number not attending seconday school is quite high for both groups. Bianet summarizes the report's findings:
* In the age group of 15-19-year-olds, 26 percent of the boys and 50 percent of the girls neither are going to school nor to work. In international comparison, this ratio amounts to 8, respectively 9 percent in other OECD countries.

* Access to secondary education is dependent on significant regional disparities. 78 percent of the 14-17-year-olds are enrolled in high school in the Southern Marmara region, whereas this ratio reaches a mere 44 percent only in the South-East of the country.

* Also the parents' education level is an important influence: 17 percent of daughters of illiterate fathers and 94 percent of the daughters of university graduates go to a secondary school.

* 15 percent of all male high school students enrolled in the academic year of 2008/2009 dropped out of school. The proportion rises to 23 percent at vocational schools.

* A total of 360,000 students dropped out of high school in 2008/2009. Considering the number of school days, more than 2,000 students dropped out of school every day.

* In 2009, the per capita expenditure for secondary education amounted to TL 2,273 (€ 1,136), the figure for vocational and technical schools lay at TL 2,937 (€ 1,558) per student. For 2010, the budget is planned at TL 2,051 and TL 2,188 respectively. The reduction stems from increasing secondary education to four years and trying to make it more prevalent without allocating sufficient resources.

* Per capita expenditures for students significantly vary among different provinces: Public spending on secondary education per student in 2009 amounted to TL 1,379 (€ 690) in Istanbul and TL 3,508 (€ 1,754) in Amasya (northern Anatolia).

* In comparison to the previous year, 175,000 more children benefited from pre-school education in 2010. Three out of five 20-72-month-old children were enrolled.
Many families do not simply refuse to send their daughters or sons to schools because they see it as unnecessary, but because the children's labor is viewed as necessary for the family's sustenance. Too often, I suspect it is the daughters that make the biggest sacrifice in this regard. Interesting here also are the regional disparites in terms of the total amount spent on each student.

For a video from a campaign the Turkish daily Milliyet recently did to encourage families to send their daughters to school, click here.

1 comment:

Bulent Murtezaoglu said...

On Milliyet's campaign, it might be worth noting that [one of the?] the people who run it got the Ergenekon treatment around the time CYDD/Turkan Saylan got hit. Here's the story of her detainment.

The recently-released Erzincan prosecutor Ilhan Cihaner, too, was involved in and perhaps created some ill-will by attempting to prosecute organizations that prevented girls from attending mixed scools.

Now, there might be other grounds for prosecuting these people. I don't mean to imply that they got the Ergenekon treatment because of their role in female education. What I am saying is that aggressive legal or civic action for female education even for children [in co-ed, non Imam-Hatip schools especially] seems to be correlated with where in the present polarization people fall.

Here's a bonus tape for you. This should show how far Gulen has come at least as far as his public declerations go, but also explain why some US academics who appear to simply parrot the propaganda fed to them by his organization get no respect from Turks who know a thing or two about his past.