The 1981 Higher Education Act No.2547 defines “Distance Education” as “Education conducted by means of radio, television, and educational materials”.
In the Ministry of National Education (MonE) 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, “Distance Education” is defined as “enabling people to receive education independently of time and place by using all kinds of communication technologies”.
The 2023 Education Vision refers to the terms “distance education”, “e-learning / online learning”, “digital skills”, “technology”, but does not define them.
Constitution and laws: Article 42 of the 1982 Constitution states that education is free and compulsory in all state schools and that “No one shall be deprived of the right to education”.
The 2021 Primary Education and Education Law and Some Laws no.6287 amending the 1961 Primary Education and Education Law No.222, have redefined the framework of compulsory education. Previously, education was mandated from the primary level with a duration of eight years of uninterrupted basic education. However, with the enactment of Law No. 6287, widely known as the 4+4+4 Law, significant changes were implemented. This law, officially published in the Official Gazette on April 11, 2012, brought about the reorganization of school levels into four-year schools. As a result, the period of compulsory education has been extended to a comprehensive 12-year span, covering education from the primary level through to higher education.
The 2007 Private Education Institutions Law No.5580 stipulates that distance education institutions provide education with all kinds of communication tools for those who cannot continue their education for various reasons. These institutions include private education institutions affiliated with the Ministry of National Education.
After the 2008 Electronic Communication Law No. 5809 came into effect, the name of the Telecommunication Authority changed to Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA). The Law aims to “promote the new investments and technological developments in communications infrastructure, network and services through regulations and inspections in the electronic communications sector and to determine relevant principles and procedures thereto”. Though it mentions nothing about ICT in education.
Policies, plans and strategies: The 2023 Education Vision includes the target of “Establishing an Ecosystem for the Development of Digital Content and Skills” related to digital skills and content development “Digital infrastructure activities will continue without losing pace, and the technology capacities of all our schools will be further enhanced”. The 2023 Education Vision document was developed to improve the quality of education to help students gain 21st-century abilities by turning information into competencies through ICT.
The targets of the 2019-2023 MoNE Strategic Plan include digital content and skill-supported transformation that supports learning processes so that all students and teachers have equal learning and teaching opportunities beyond the classroom walls. Within the framework of this target, the strategies include, “An ecosystem will be established for the development of digital content and skills” and “Content will be created for the development of digital skills, and teacher training will be carried out in this context”. In addition to that, in the 11th Development Plan, “the materials related to foreign language education will be enriched and a system will be developed to measure all the skills in the fields of listening, speaking, reading and writing.”
The 2019-2023 Eleventh Development Plan integrated the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into its agenda. In regards to policies in education: “The contents of the Education Information Network portal will be enriched by harmonizing with teaching programmes and the effective use of the portal will be spread” referring to the digital education platform of Türkiye educational portal founded in 2012 that is abbreviated as “EBA.” The plan also states that “Network infrastructure and interactive board will be established in schools to ensure access to technology.”
Digital competency frameworks: The 2015 Turkish Qualifications Framework (TQF) defines competencies as a variety of abilities that students will require in their personal, social, academic, and professional lives, both nationally and globally (TQF). The TQF recognizes eight core competencies one of which is the digital competency skills based on the curricula. The framework states, “Digital competence involves the confident and critical use of Information Society Technologies (ISTs) for work, daily life and communication. It is underpinned by basic skills in ICT: the use of computers to retrieve, assess, store, produce, present and exchange information, and to communicate and participate in collaborative networks via the Internet.” The framework also acknowledges that “Most stages in the formal and non-formal education system can be reached by distance learning and open education options”.
Changes occurred as a result of COVID-19: Digitalization was included in the 2023 Education Vision and Education Strategies before COVID-19. Presential education in schools was suspended due to the pandemic; however, the transition to distance education was smooth as the existing educational platform was only accelerated and enhanced.
2.2.1. Technology infrastructure and digital capacity of schools
Electricity: The 2019-2023 Eleventh Development Plan states the following, “Educational buildings will be designed in accordance with the technology and environment, as safe, economic, aesthetic and accessible with high architectural standards and quality”; “The efficient use of other educational buildings in the place where the classrooms are planned to be built will be taken into consideration while planning the new classroom constructions, and the use of unused educational buildings will be given priority”; “Regional competence in electricity supply will be ensured, electricity transmission infrastructure investments will continue to be implemented in a way to ensure the security of the system and the supply and demand conditions of the regions.”
The 2013 Electricity Market Law No. 6446 aims “to ensure the independent regulation and supervision of this market for purposes of providing sufficient, good quality, uninterrupted, low cost and environment-friendly electricity to consumers”; however, it mentions nothing about schools.
The MoNE Education Ministry initiative “Eco-Friendly 1,000 Schools,’” conducted in cooperation with the Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Ministry, the goal is to install and expand solar panels and rainwater store reservoirs to 1000 schools then expand it to all schools affiliated with the MoNE.
Computers and devices: To reduce the digital divide and ensure equality of opportunity in education, the FATİH project was launched by the MoNE, in accordance with the 2021 Primary Education and Education Law and Some Laws no. 6287, to provide hardware such as tablets to teachers and students. The project also aims to install information technology (IT) equipment in the classrooms of all schools so that the curricula is made compatible with ICT-supported teacher and educational e-content can effectively be put in place.
In the 20th National Education Council and within the framework of technology and distance education “Increasing Equality of Opportunity in Basic Education” it is stated that “Equipment and technical maintenance and repair support should be provided to students in need” (Article 35).
Internet connectivity: The 2005 Universal Service Law No. 5369 objective is to establish the policies and guidelines for the delivery, implementation, and fulfilment of the universal service for everyone in Türkiye as Article 3 stipulates “Anybody living in the territory of Republic of Türkiye, without any discrimination based on region and place of residence, shall avail himself/herself of the universal service”. Article 2 of the law defines Universal Service as “means the electronic communications services, including access to the Internet, which is accessible to anyone within the territory of Republic of Türkiye regardless of the geographical position, and which is to be offered with a predefined level of quality and minimum standards in return for reasonable prices affordable to anybody”.
Not only did the FATİH project supports schools through technology hardware, but also, they ensure the instalment of software, network infrastructure and Internet in all schools and classrooms. According to Article 25 of the 2021 Primary Education and Education Law and Some Laws no. 6287, Within the scope of the Movement to Increase Opportunities in Education and Improve Technology (FATIH) Project, the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications will “purchase goods and services until the end of 2015 to provide internet access services and network infrastructure to schools affiliated to the Ministry of National Education. In the construction works, with the approval of the top manager, widespread loads can be undertaken for up to 15 years.”
2.2.2. Technology and learning environments
The content and infrastructure of the existent digital education platform (EBA) were founded in 2012. The Education Information Network (EBA) was only further enriched and accelerated following COVID-19. The platform is available to teachers, students and parents, and is improved regularly. The platform is accessible through computer devices, interactive whiteboards, phones, and tablets (iPad) applications. Through EBA Virtual Classrooms, simultaneous online lectures were made available at the desired time and the number of times. Free internet access support up to 6-8 GB was provided for EBA contents through an agreement with mobile operators.
In addition to providing distance education via EBA, television broadcasts were made available on 3 TRT EBA channels that included educational TV shows. Courses for all school levels for users who do not have internet were broadcast at set times.
Digital Educational Materials:
General Directorate of Secondary Education in Turkish Ministry of National Education launched ogmmateryal.eba.gov.tr to provide online access to a wide range of educational resources and support distance learning for students, teachers, and parents in September, 2018. The main of this website is to support national curriculum. The number of users accessing the website is 7.81 million as of March 2023. Moreover, these users did about 344 million activities on the website. ogmmateryal.eba.gov.tr offers free and open educational materials for especially high school students. Also, there are some guidebooks for the professional development of school principals and teachers. Turkish expert teachers and Turkish National Education Specialists design the digital materials on ogmmateryal.eba.gov.tr.
The materials range disiplines, such as chemistry, math, physics,Turkish language and literatüre, English language. Moreover, e-books, videos, animations, simulations, and interactive exercises can be seen on this website. Materials can be searched by grade level and subject. There are 24 main sections on the website:
- School Principal and Teacher Library: This section contains the contents of the administrator and teacher guidebooks (14 contents).
- Interactive Books: In this section, there are digitalized versions of official textbooks by courses (478 contents).
- Skill-Based Books: This section offers skill-based activities prepared for a better understanding of the skills related to the curriculum of the courses (45 contents).
- Grasping Acquisition Activities: This section covers the students practice acquisition activities bu courses (26 contents).
- Concept Teaching Studies: This section includes activities related to teaching the concepts in the lessons (33 contents).
- Question Bank: The questions were classified in accordance with class, course, unit, and subject (20425 contents).
- Workbook: The workbooks enriched with multiple-choice and open-ended questions as well as gap-filling, matching and puzzle activities to reinforce the lessons (272 contents).
- Yks Preparation: There are YKS camp videos, lecture videos, and mini-tests for the students preparing for YKS (3 contents).
- Lesson Presentations: This section provides lecture presentations for all subjects of secondary education level (1235 contents).
- Topic Summaries: This section includes summaries of topics for all subjects of secondary education (1163 contents).
- Lecture Videos: In this section, there are lecture videos prepared in cooperation with TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation) for the subjects of all courses at the secondary education level (1270 contents).
- Preparation School Exams: There are preparation videos and pdf contents made in schools for all subjects at secondary education level in this section (120 contents).
- Games: There are game and activity-based contents in the classroom environment of English and German courses at the secondary education level in this section (44 contents).
- Interactive Applications: Digital versions of the activities in the textbooks can be read in this section. These interactive applications are compatible with the interactive whiteboard in the classrooms (22934 contents).
- Experiments: Videos and animations of the experiments can be accessed in the curriculum of Physics, Chemistry and Biology courses in this section (86 contents).
- 3B Modelling: This section comprises 3B models related to concepts, topics in the curriculum of the courses. (62 contents).
- Dynamic Applications: Some contents in the curriculum of the courses were transformed into simulations in this section. (1233 contents).
- The Trail Of History: The video series on the Trail of History can be watched in this section (7 contents).
- Virtual Museums: This area contains links to virtual museums (45 contents).
- The Dictionary Of Philosophy: In this section, there are videos in which our academicians explain difficult concepts in philosophy classes in order to provide a better understanding (71 contents).
- From Poets: This section includes videos in which poems are sung by living poets (53 contents).
- Teacher Opinions: Videos containing the opinions and suggestions of our teachers can be seen in this section (10 contents).
- Website Tutorial: In this section, there are videos about the more effective use of the sections on the website (22 contents).
The "Diyalekt Web and Mobile Application" project was launched as part of the "The Foreign Language Mobilization" initiative that was started by the Ministry of National Education in 2022. The program is a platform that facilitates the teaching of the four language skills and offers language instruction to both children and adults using various methodologies.
The application includes books, short and long videos, activities, quizzes where students can evaluate themselves, and content prepared by taking into account the four language skills. It bases its language learning methodology on the European Language Portfolio (ELP) and Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) standards. Future plans call for this program to offer services for teaching German, French, Arabic, Russian, and Turkish as foreign languages on the same platform in addition to English. In addition, DİYALEKT KIDS, a platform that stands out for providing English instructional materials created for kids, provides a joyful learning environment through games.
DİYALEKT (https://diyalekt.eba.gov.tr/) and DİYALEKT KIDS (https://diyalekt.eba.gov.tr/kids/home) applications are accessible via EBA (Education Science Network). In addition, DIALEKT and DIALEKT KIDS have mobile applications for easy access by students and teachers.
Dialect Mobile Application Apple Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/di-yalekt/id6446923691
Dialect Mobile App Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=tr.gov.meb.diyalekt
Public education centers information network (HEMBA):
HEMBA is a "unique" platform that will serve the citizens by constantly enriching the digital platform contents. The infrastructure services are provided by Directorate General for Innovation and Education Technologies, MoNE. The digital platform serves integrated with the eyaygın system of Directorate General for Lifelong Learning, MoNE. Approximately twelve million people benefit from face-to-face trainings in Public Education Centers annually. The main aim of the platform is to enable the Turkish Citizens benefit from these courses more. Furthermore; increasing the participation of individuals in courses acquiring new generation skills, especially digital skills that they must have in order to increase their employability is targeted. The target audience of the platform is citizens of the Republic of Türkiye over the age of 15. In this system, there are 103.892 trainees and 119 courses and seminars at the moment.
The primary and secondary school curricula have been updated to produce graduates with the high-level cognitive skills and life skills necessary for the twenty-first century. The programmes are based on digital competence, one of the 8 basic skills in the 2015 Turkish Qualifications Framework (TQF). This proficiency is supported by fundamental abilities such as the use of computers for information access and evaluation, storage, production, presentation, and exchange, as well as participation in public networks and Internet communication.
The Weekly Course Schedule of Primary Education Institutions (Primary and Secondary Schools), which was adopted by Board Decision No. 49 of the Board of Education on December 23, 2021, is used in primary and secondary state schools. In this context, the fifth and sixth grades of secondary schools offer an Information Technologies and Software course two hours per week.
Conducted by the MoNE- DGIET, the EDUSIMSTEAM Projects aims to support schools with innovative STEAM education approach and enable teachers and students at the K-12 level to develop their computational thinking skills through STEAM education with the help of teacher training programs, innovative online platform, SimuLearn, and creating STEAM education scenarios based in Scenario-Based Learning (SBL) approach. It published the 2020 EDUSIMSTEAM Needs Analysis Report to analyze the teachers continuous professional needs in STEAM education. Though no information specifically targeting females in STEM is mentioned. The project also launches SimuLearn, which enables students and teachers to simulate STEAM education scenarios in an online platform.
As for the Science Curriculum in schools, it aims to raise all individuals as science literate “to provide students with basic knowledge about astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences, science and engineering applications”. Professional and technical education equipment and material support is provided on the web address of meslek.eba.gov.tr . This web page includes many items such as Textbooks and Teaching Materials, Course Schedules, Individual Learning Materials, Curriculums and board decisions.
The Vocational and Technical Education Application Platform METUP was launched in cooperation with the Ministry of National Education, General Directorate of Vocational and Technical Education and UNICEF. Vocational and Technical Education Application Platform MET-UP is a digital material library and interaction application developed by the Ministry of National Education. MET-UP has a user-friendly interface and the learning materials are developed in an easily accessible and understandable way. With METUP, teachers or master trainers will be able to transfer the information needed by the student or trainee with a 3D digital material library without the need for a different technology.METUP supports the fast and easy access to the material desired by its users, with the prolongation of the attention span of the students or trainees, the wide range of materials it offers with the AR application, the work safety and the savings it provides in many different aspects.It provides free accessibility from different technological platforms (mobile phone, tablet, computer).
The 2019-2023 Eleventh Development Plan states that “A distance training platform for productivity will be established.” The plan also calls for In-service training that would be “transformed into an easily accessible structure through the use of distance education systems that enhance the professional and fundamental skills of civil servants.”The In-service training programs are to be implemented to ensure the adaptation of mathematics and Turkish teachers to the new teaching programmes.
The Department of Educational Technologies and Skills Development of the MoNE-GDIET carries out in-service and professional development training as courses and seminars for teachers/staff so that they can adapt to and use innovative technologies in schools.
The “2022 Ministry of National Education Personnel In-Service Training Regulation” provides the professional development needs of the personnel of private education institutions and the training personnel of private education institutions upon their request planning, implementation, management, and monitoring of training to meet to determine the procedures and principles.
The 2022 ÖBA (The Professional Development Platform of Türkiye) distance education platform was created to assist the professional development of teachers and school administrators. Through ÖBA, they participate in professional development trainings, access the presented content and good practice examples.
The MoNE has supported the Scenario-Based Learning (SBL) approach with the projects: Innovative Technologies for Engaging Classrooms (iTEC), Future Classroom Lab (FCL), and Designing Future Innovative Learning Spaces (Design FILS) to strengthen innovative pedagogies in flexible learning environments.
2.4.1. Data privacy
Article 1 of the 2016 Protection Personal Data Law No.6698 stipulates that the Law is meant to protect data privacy, concerning the “processing of personal data and to set forth obligations, principles and procedures which shall be binding upon natural or legal persons who process personal data” in all domains and institutions including digital education platforms. In line with the policies determined by the Ministry of National Education on cyber security, a “Digital Technologies Zone”” was created on the digital education program (EBA) as a guide to teachers, families, experts and students. The portal raises awareness on the protection of personal information, warns about viruses and spyware, and recommends measures that can be taken to keep the Internet safe and fun, as well as what to do in case of a threat. The information is shared in an entertaining way with videos.
The 2020-2023 National Cyber Security Strategy and Action Plan is implemented by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure to protect the security of next-generation technologies, combat cyber crimes, and integrate cyber security into national security. Though it does not mention schools.
2.4.2. Online abuse and cyberbullying
The 2007 Internet Law No. 5651 is aimed to protect children and families from harmful and illegal Internet content including sexual harassment of children, promoting drug use, supplying drugs that are dangerous to health, obscenity, and prostitution as stipulated by article 8; however, no specific information on the context of schools is present in the law.
The “Cyber Security Portal” in the Education Information Network (EBA) includes infographics for children on the following topics: safe internet, game addiction, correct use of technology, and cyberbullying. The cyber security game also aims to raise awareness of the dangers in the digital world.
The Ministry of National Education (MonE) oversees the nation's educational system and is in charge of creating curricula, coordinating the efforts of government, non-profit, and for-profit groups, designing and constructing schools, creating educational materials, and other tasks.
The Ministry of National Education General Directorate of Innovation and Educational Technologies (MoNE DGIET) is a national governing body and the main actor in ICT integration into education. It supports ICT-based implementations in education and manages the EBA (The Digital Education Platform of Türkiye) platform and FATİH Project.
Article 311 of the 2018 Presidential Decree No.30474 lays out the authorisations and duties of the General Directorate of Innovation and Educational Technologies of the Ministry of National Education (MoNE DGIET). The duties include supporting and carrying activities in support of education and training with technology; conducting or evaluating studies on the use of ICT in education; and broadcasting programmes, films and similar publications based on information and communication technologies. The General Directorate of Innovation and Educational Technologies departments include: “The Department of Educational Informatics Systems”, “The Department of Education Broadcasting and Media Management”, The Department of Educational Technologies Development and Projects”,“The Department of Educational Technologies and Skills Development”, “The Department of System Management”, ”The Department of Communication”, and “The Department of Administrative and Financial Affairs”.
The Regulation on Secondary Education Institutions includes provisions on the correct use of information tools and social media in schools defined as “mobile phones, cameras, tablets, computers, smart watches and similar devices that can record audio and video”.
The Bohça Brand, which consists of the products produced by 31 Maturation Institutes in 30 provinces in Turkey, has been registered for 10 years as of 31/10/2019. It was opened in Istanbul Istiklal Street (opening date 5 June 2021) and again in Istanbul Galataport (opening date: 24 December 2022), belonging to the brand, and the products began to be offered for sale. Social media account (bohcatr) is actively used.
There are a total of 2283 (562 in Galataport, 1721 in Istiklal) products produced by all institutes in our stores, which are periodically renewed and updated with spring summer and autumn winter creations. While the turnover of Bohça stores in 2022 is 2,325,402.82 TL, the total turnover for the first 5 months of 2023 is 1,440,206,40 TL. In addition to that, the sales office, museum house, culture and art center etc. to be opened within the body of maturation institutes. The processes up to the planning and operationalization of new building formations are followed.
This profile was reviewed by the Ministry of National Education of Türkiye