OBSERVATION OF TURKISH EDUCATION SYSTEM AT SCHOOLS
We visited Private Bilkent Primary School (Özel Bilkent İlk ve Ortaokulu-ÖBİ) and Private Bilkent Highschool(Özel Bilkent Lisesi) to observe education system, structure of the school, see the atmosphere in the school and make an interview with a person who has administrative responsibility on 25 September 2012. Initially, we visited ÖBL and met Canan Harmacı who is the principal of the high school. Then we walked around ÖBL which is guided by Daryl York and tried to get more information about ÖBL. Then we visited ÖBİ and tried to find clue about school's academic and administrative expectations. We took notes and photos. Then we made interview with one of the administrative. Selçuk and I made an interview with Oya Kerman who is the principal of the Private Bİlkent Primary School. In this essay, I will focus on the school in terms of atmosphere, academic and administrative expectation, differences with my primary and high school, and then give information about our interview details.
ÖBL has good facilities, quality education, experienced administrative and teachers. It has small classes (9 to 13 students); chance to observe classes from doors’ glass, students’ list and schedule and scheduled exams sheet on the door. It has also health office, students’ affairs, dining hall, chemistry, history, computer etc. labs, meeting room, library that includes non-fiction books, LYS books, source book, journal and has facilities to use University database. There is also clipboard for each specific field (chemistry, math, history etc.). ÖBL is successful in the computer field and sport activity too because there are some tournament about sport; competition about webpages are arranged.
After ÖBL, we went to ÖBİ. When I enter the ÖBİ, I felt very happy and excited because it is a really pretty, warm and colorful. There are sections in the schools like 5-6 years, 1-4 grades and 5-8 grades with new education system which is 4+4+4. It has art room, library(also a special library with kindergarten child), psychological counselor, health office, labs, dining hall which includes personal chair for kinder, and note food name if there is any allergenic for students, sport center, clipboard, students affair.
In this section, I will focus on academic and administrative expectations of the schools. When I consider school’s academic expectation, I can give an example of Learner Profile. Students should be have critical thinking, creative, inquisitive, sensitive, successful both social and academic life. It has also administrative expectations that to wear uniform, attend lecture on time, obeying library rules (being quite, submit material on time), Laboratory rules (no drinking and food, no enter forbidden websites). When I walked around the ÖBİ, I saw a note that “I don’t go upstairs without permission, what about you”. It is a good way to show administrative rules to students.
If I consider the differences between ÖBL and ÖBİ with my Primary and high school, I see rigid line in terms of quality of education and opportunities I graduated from public school that is not have possibility as much as private schools. In my both primary and high school, there are not PYP, students’ Office, health Office, Literacy Coordinator and Librarian and art room. Furthermore, our class size bigger and we are not so closed with administrative. At public schools, I observed that administrative are not so busy because they just depend on Ministry of National Education and mostly they cannot make a decisions own. However, at Bilking schools, administrative are so busy because they are depend on school board, their goal is going further and provides with quality education to students. In the ÖBİ website, they are clearly indicated that “We aim to keep pace with contemporary trends, we aspire to contribute to the development of society, and we work to prepare students as individuals with self-confidence, talent and responsibility for the global society.”
I will give further information about our interview with Oya Kerman. When we enter her room, she met us entrance of the room kindly. She had a copy of our interview’ questions; prepare a notepad and pencil for us. Then she offered us tea and chocolate. When we started the interview, she gave brief information about her background. She is a Germany teacher and worked as a teacher 25 years at public schools. Then she started to work as a principal at ÖBİ at 1998. After that we talked about the organization of the school.
There is a school board top of the council who is managed by Ali Doğramacı.It is met once in every 3 months. They talked about the future needs and make a presentation to rector. Then it becomes General Coordinator who is John O’dwyer and he is responsible from budget, material, tuition etc. After that it becomes Principal of school who is Oya Kerman is responsible prepare report both daily and weekly, end of to each 2 month. She offers both verbal and written report to General Coordinator. If she meets any problem, she is responsible to convey verbally or with mail.
If we keep up to scan organization of the school, there is a Program advisor who is Daryl York. He shares his experiences about program. PYP(Primary Year Program) coordinator is working with 3 assistant principal, One of them is responsible from kinder and first grade students, the other one is responsible from 2,3 and 4th grade students, last one is responsible from 5-8 grade students. Kinder and primary principal of PYP, department principals (one person from each grade) have also direct connection with PYP coordinator. PDR has also a direct connection with principal of school. There are 6 psychological counselors and one of them is principal. They are in charge of make a bridge between students and handicapped.
Furthermore, there is a Literacy Coordinator and Librarian is in office from library and using language correctly. There is also Head of Professional Development Unit that consists of president of each grade. They make a development plan for 5 year, discus about school’s needs. Besides ÖBİ provides with in-service education about classroom management, support teachers with solving their problems in school. Parent association is also a significant part of the administrative. It consists of 7 parents and meets every biweekly. They convey parents’ problem to administrative and work social awareness project like support other schools with materials. Last part of the organization is administrative that are students ‘office, IT Office, Personal Department, Accounting Office, Health Office. This huge organization keeps up with report that presented bimonthly.
Oya Kerman most enjoys being class and meet students in her administrative role. She meets students from different classes each Tuesday for 15 minutes. It is a good to become stronger students- administrative relations. Besides, she enjoy to seeing the results of their working that students’ success, appreciation of parents. Most of the parents are pleased from school administrative and she is very happy about it. She makes a decision about daily problems, schools’ needs, preliminary decisions about teachers’ agreement.
In conclusion, both ÖBL and ÖBİ are care students’ needs, their self-development, and self-confidence and provide with high quality education.
They expect students to be creative, inquisitive, and enthusiastic to learning, respectful toward class mates and teachers academically. They also expect students to obey rules that wearing uniform, being calls on time, attend exams so on administratively. ÖBL and ÖBİ are multidirectional and strong organizations in terms of making well dictions about school’s future, move forward high level globally, solving existing problems. Above all, these schools foundations are has been carrying Prof. Dr. İhsan Doğramacı name and embrace his education goals and follow the way that depend on Atatürk’s principles and revaluation.