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The dependency ratio (the ratio of the number of children and the elderly to the number of the working-age people) is decreasing significantly in Turkey, offering a very important opportunity for the country to accelerate its socio-economic development. Yet, the opportunity will not last forever: it is expected to close around 2020. The best instrument in the hands of Turkey to turn this opportunity to a real advantage is improving the quality of education of its education services. The results of international tests, however, do not present an optimistic picture: According to the PISA 2009 results released by the OECD in December 2010, Turkey stands as the 32nd among 34 OECD countries, and 40 percent of Turkish 15-year-old students cannot reach basic competence level in mathematical literacy. Moreover, socioeconomic background plays a huge role in determining the success of the Turkish student, and schools are more or less segregated in line with the socio-economic background characteristics of their students. This paper underscores possible reasons and results of this situation, and what alternative future directions Turkey may take if learning outcomes can be improved.

 

CONTRIBUTOR
Aytuğ Şaşmaz and Nihan Köseleci Blanchy
Aytuğ Şaşmaz and Nihan Köseleci Blanchy
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From the Desk of the Editor During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals and governments across the globe have been reminded of the value of human life and the delicacy of human psychology. Societies have been forced to conform to governments’ speedy decisions to prevent the spread of the virus, and individuals—from the most vulnerable to the most well-off —were forced to self-isolate. The isolation...
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