n South African Journal of Education - Pros and cons : compulsory 12 year education reform in Turkey

Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



Turkey has undergone two significant education reforms in the last two decades. In 1997, the compulsory education period was increased from five years to eight years with the unification of primary school (five years) and middle school (three years) and vocational middle schools were dismissed. In 2012, compulsory education was increased from eight years to discrete 12 (4+4+4) years. In this study, the opinions of two separate prospective teacher groups were taken before (from 2012 graduates), and after (from 2013 graduates) the new 4+4+4 system was initiated and trend analyses was carried out. Because of the cultural and ideological mosaic structure of Turkey, the changes that were found to be "positive" by some participants were found to be "negative" by others. It is possible to assert that the initial implementation of the new system has been rather problematic, yet the efforts to render it more effective still continue.

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