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Siirt has worked a miracle
1.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 10 May 2008 Sat 02:14 am

The education community is abuzz with talk about the province of Siirt: the school attendance rate has jumped from just 4 to 63 percent within a matter of 4 years and contracts for teachers failing to enroll at least 25 new students are being cancelled. About 12,000 children are attending infant classes. Material assistance in the form of financial subsidies and other incentives is offered to school goers -- and 3 million pistachio saplings planted in a joint effort to bolster the local economy are flourishing.

A miracle has indeed been worked in Siirt and the man responsible is Governor Nuri Okutan. Governor Okutan is now reaping the fruits of his painstaking efforts to make Siirt one of the leading provinces of Turkey. Siirt gained an incredible momentum in education after the new Governor took office and the province is now leading all other provinces in pre-school education enrolment. Along with strides forward in education, the pistachio industry will help Siirt open up to the European market. These important projects by Governor Okutan enjoy wide support from the locals. Several projects are being carried out at the same time to enlarge the scope and quality of education. Parents and students are very enthusiastic about the Governor’s initiatives. The project designed to increase enrolment to pre-school education achieved such success that its reputation went far beyond the borders of this province. Siirt is now at top in pre-school education where the national enrolment average is 15 percent. Following the launch of a programme in 2000, the rate of enrolment rose from 4 to 63 percent -- a total of 12,000 children enrolled in pre-school education.

There are 466 teachers catering to the educational needs of these children in a total of 323 infant classes spread over the province center, local administrative districts and outlying rural settlements. Pre-school education is a distinct feature of the project which targets quality improvement in basic education. The idea of giving weight to pre-school education stems from the fact that many formal school beginners have difficulty in adapting to courses in Turkish since their local tongues are different. The school performance of students who try to master Turkish at their formal enrolment in primary education is naturally low so pre-school education is crucial in giving these children an equal chance in formal education.

Material support as well!
Through the projects, which are supported by the Ministry of National Education (MONE), Various methods are employed to encourage students. The Governorate extends financial support to families who send their children to school and offers incentives in the form of gifts to newly enrolled students. Teachers visit homes to convince parents to send their children to schools and the contracts of any teachers who fail to gain at least 25 children for new school enrolment are cancelled. Another interesting project in Siirt is designed to mobilise communities and ensure the further support of muhtars. Muhtars making special efforts to ensure the school enrolment of children and are invited to attend as special guests in the protocol of special days and celebrations.

Haydi Kızlar Okula!
http://www.unicef.org/turkey/pc/ge35.html

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