ISSN 2330-717X

Turkey: Local Private Schools With Foreign Language Education Medium – OpEd


Recall your secondary school years or remember your children at that period. Try to remember the foreign teachers at that time. Graduates of the prestigious schools of the United States of America, or in Britain, they are employed by public institutions and private sector companies. Those who are not favored by them seek their place in the overseas. What was common in those new graduates who accepted jobs in overseas? These people were well educated, but they could not find work in their homeland on the main continent due to their different characteristics.

Because they were born reactionists, dissedents, they were among the minorities, they thought differently, they behaved differently, they wanted to lead different lives.

They were looking for the freedom they could not find in their home country, but overseas. They are not only in foreign schools, but also in embassies.

Blacks, dissidents, gays, intellectuals, later famous writers were among them. Writer Arthur Huxley was in Sri Lanka, author George Orwell lived in Burma. Robert College and Bosphorus university in Istanbul had many foreign writers, thinkers and academicians, they have taught and influenced the students’ thinking structure.

My English teacher Mr Robinson was black American, he had found freedom in Turkey that he could not find in America. People here treated them equal, they don’t see any color difference. Ted English teacher Mr. Tikfur gave lectures with his great diction, then he moved to Bilkent University, he was a fan of classical music and opera.

My British general manager Mr. Green, who was crushed earlier while working in American companies, close to his retirement he wish to run a JV company overseas with a little more active mission in Turkey.

I had a lot of foreign teachers while studying at METU University Mechanical engineering department between 1968-73. They were masters of their courses, their knowledge was profound and effective, they answered the questions clearly with no hesitation.

German academics who were fleeing Hitler’s Germany before the Second World War, they had brought an incredible quality of education to Turkish universities.

These people came to us, they declared their own open-minded ideas in their works, they lived their lives here according to their preferences, the students of foreign-language schools were inevitably influenced by them, and the children studying here had a more liberal open-minded structure. These are the cases in Ankara TED, Robert, Tevfik Fikret, French Charles deGaulle, German, Austrian high schools, as was seen in the universities Bosporus, MetU. American Peace Corps came, so we all learnt who is the American citizen, what/how does s/he think? All of them wrote reports, articles, memoirs, novels about the countries in which they served.

It was good, they lived in the unknown countries like us, they made us more known.

Now the structure of local public education has changed, there is no more normal high school education. The cost of private education with foreign language has become more difficult, religious education has gained weight in free education.

New appointments have not been made to normal high schools, the annual student fees of private schools have reached incredible-inaccessible levels.
People have become seriously contemplating immigration abroad for their children’s education. The annual fee for 2019 for Ankara Ted kindergarten is 71,200 Turkish lira (or 10k€). In Bilkent Blis, METU schools, the annual tuition prices of secondary schools are very high. The annual tuition fees of Istanbul private schools are higher.

In the upcoming year, they will reduce the number of foreign teachers in private foreign language schools for cost saving. The Turkish teachers receive 10 thousand lira per month salary, foreign teachers get twice as much per month.

We don’t know how private schools can say that they do excellent education in foreign languages without foreign teachers.

Now it is announced that mathematics will be elective, religion course would be compulsory, in our time it was the opposite.

If we buy S400 missiles, we do not know what to do, but forget to get the F35s. Akkuyu nuclear power plant foundations have cracks, commercial airplanes cannot land on the new Istanbul airport due to hard wind. It is humored that it not an airport, almost as if there was a large shopping mall. There are no walking tracks, no meteorological radar, no subway.

We have no educated young generations who will find solutions to all these problems. We do not have a system of education for them to develop solution-oriented people. What is your experience? How did your children/ grandchildren get education? What kind of education system are we expecting for them in the future? Where is this country with eighty million headed to? How longer shall we endure?

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Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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