Over 200,000 gifted students left Turkey in last decade – children’s foundation

At least 216,444 gifted children have left Turkey to study abroad between the years of 2008 and 2018, Turkey’s Foundation for Children said in an open letter to Turkish Minister of Education Ziya Selçuk.

The number of gifted children leaving the country has increased every year, Bianet news site quoted the letter as saying

“Education for gifted children in Turkey lacks a holistic philosophy and is riddled with disinterest, despite a demand from the public,” the foundation said.

The foundation maintains the ministry has disregarded propositions by universities, educational NGOs, as well as a 2012 report by the parliamentary commission on the discovery and education of gifted children.

Nor has the ministry started efforts to establish the necessary environment to nourish talented students, the foundation said.

The legal framework has been severely lacking, and no will has been put forth to develop education policies to nurture intelligence and special talent, it added.

Although the number of centres for science and arts has been increasing since 1995, the increasing number of structures fail to serve their intended purpose, according to the letter.

Turkey’s education system, which has seen several major overhauls in recent years, is rife with problems, including students leaving education early, the system lacking current skills for the contemporary work environment, parents being concerned about mandatory religious education, and a significant portion of students lacking basic comprehension skills.