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Secondary Education

An optional secondary education program follows the eight years of basic education. Fourteen-year-old students who complete the basic education program may enroll in one of the over 1,300 public high schools whose programs match their abilities and interests. All schools are coeducational. The academic year is from October to July. The percent of students choosing to enroll in the secondary program has increased. In 1980, some 44 percent of males were enrolled, and in 2000, some 68 percent of males were enrolled. During that same period the number of females secondary students doubled, increasing from 24 percent to 48 percent. In the 1998-1999 school year, there were 1,094,610 students enrolled in the 2,611 general high schools, and there were 70,936 teachers at these schools. During this school term, another 918,542 students were enrolled in Turkey's 3,097 technical and vocational high schools; 68,728 teachers taught at these schools.

The goal of secondary education is to provide students with general knowledge and prepare them for a profession and for higher education. The Ministry of National Education supervises the high schools. Programs last for three to four years and cover general, vocational, and technical education. There are two main categories of secondary schools: general high schools and vocational-technical high schools. There are five types of general secondary schools: Genel Lise (General High School), Yabanci Dil Agirlilki Lise (Foreign Language High School), Anadolu lisesi (Anatolian High School), Fen Lisesi (Science High School), Anadoulu Güzel Sanatlar Lisesi (Anatolian Fine Arts High School), and Anadoulu Ögretmen Lisesi (Anatolian Teacher Preparatory High Schools). Students completing these schools receive the Lise Diplomasi.

The Genel Lise (General High School) is a three-year program that prepares students for higher education. In the 1997-1998 school year, there were 1,606 general high schools serving 928,545 students. The Yabanci Dil Agirlilki Lise (Foreign Language High School) is a four-year program designed to prepare high achieving students for higher education programs. These schools were first introduced in the 1992-1993 school year at twenty-eight high schools. In the 1998-1999 school year there were 674 Foreign Language High Schools.

Anadolu lisesi (Anatolian High School) were first opened in 1955 in several major cities as Ministry of Education Colleges. In 1975 they were renamed Anatolian High Schools. These selective four-year schools use a foreign language, often English, as the language of instruction in certain subjects. Admission to Anatolian High Schools is based upon a competitive placement examination. The graduates of these schools are often score well on the university entrance exams. In 1998-1999, there were 406 Anatolian High Schools.

The first Fen Lisesi (Science High School) was established in 1982 to provide education to the exceptionally gifted mathematics and science students. In 1998-1999, there were thirty-nine Science High Schools. All are boarding schools. The language of instruction is Turkish. Class size is limited to twenty-four. These four-year schools emphasize research and laboratory activities. The first Sanatlar Lisesi (Anatolian Fine Arts High School) opened in 1989 for gifted students. In 1999, there were nineteen Anatolian Fine Arts High Schools. The first year of the four-year program is an intense foreign language preparatory program.

Anadoulu Ögretmen Lisesi (Anatolian Teacher Preparatory High Schools) are four year schools designed to prepare teachers to enter university teacher education programs. In addition to the core curriculum courses, students take courses in general education theory and methodology as well as the history of education. In 1997-1998, there were 23,437 students enrolled at 78 schools.

Students enrolled in all general high schools are subject to the Ministry of National Education Regulations Governing Grading and Passing at Secondary Institutions. All examinations, homework assignments, and projects are graded on a 100-point scale which correlates with a five-point grading scale: five (85-100) is excellent, four (70-84) is good, three (55-69) is satisfactory, two (45-54) is passing, one (25-44) is failing, zero (0-24) is failing and not included in the grade point calculation.

All secondary schools have the same core curriculum: Turkish language and literature, religious culture and ethics, history, geography, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, health, foreign language, physical education, military science, history of the Turkish revolution and the reforms of Atatürk, and philosophy. In addition to the core courses, the General High Schools, Anatolian High Schools, and Foreign Language High Schools offer concentrations in six subject areas: science, social studies, Turkish language and literature and mathematics, foreign language, fine arts, and sports. At Science High Schools, only the concentration in science is available. Students at the Anatolian Fine Arts High Schools can specialize in either art or music.

A select number of high schools in the largest cities are bilingual, teaching classes in Turkish and either English, French, or German. Twelve high schools are open to students from the three legally recognized minorities: Armenians, Greeks, and Jews. These schools teach some subjects in Armenian or Greek.

Meslek ve Teknik Lise (Vocational and Technical High Schools) prepares students for employment or for higher education. Meslek high schools are three-year vocational high schools (grades nine to eleven) that offer courses such as binding and screen printing, ceramics, electrical engineering and electronics, food technology, library science, and telecommunications. Graduates of these schools receive the devlet mesiek high schoolssi diplomasi (State Vocational School Diploma). Teknik high schools are four-year technical high schools (grades nine to twelve) that offer courses such as electronics, technical drawing, and communications. Graduates of these schools receive the devlet teknik high schoolssi diplomasi (State Technical School Diploma).

There are four main groups of Vocational and Technical High Schools: Erkek Teknik Ögretim Okullari (Technical Schools for Boys), Kiz Teknik Okullari (Technical Schools for Girls), Ticaret ve Turizm Ögretimi Okullari (Commerce and Tourism Schools) and Din Egitimi Okullari (Religious Education Schools).

Erkek Teknik Ögretim Okullari (Technical Schools for Boys) train students to become skilled as technical personnel needed in science and technology areas. Kiz Teknik Okullari (Technical Schools for Girls) educate females to work in technical and scientific areas so they can supplement the family income. These programs are available in both formal and nonformal education systems. Ticaret ve Turizm Ögretimi Okullari (Commerce and Tourism Schools) train students for a variety of public and private sector jobs as well as providing the skills needed for higher education programs. There are a number of schools devoted to specialized areas such as hotel management and tourism, foreign trade, commerce. culinary arts, mass communications. Many of these programs provide on the job vocational training for students. The number of students enrolled in Commerce and Tourism Schools has steadily increased; in fact, more schools are needed to accommodate all the applicants.

Din Egitimi Okullari (Religious Education Schools) were established to prepare male student to become imams (prayer leaders) and males and females to be preachers or course instructors. In 1997-1998, there were 605 Religious Education Schools attended by over 178,000 students.

Most students with special needs are educated in special schools, but there is some mainstreaming of special needs students at regular schools with students their own ages. Special schools are designed for the visually impaired, the hearing impaired, the orthopedically impaired, and the chronically ill. Each province has a special education guidance and counseling service unit to organize, coordinate, supervise, and evaluate the special education services.

In addition to the public high schools, there are a number of private educational institutions. Most of these are preparatory schools for Turkey's higher education program. All of these schools operate under the supervision and control of the Ministry of National Education.

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