Canada and Turkey differ in many ways, from history to culture to politics. Education is one field in which the differences are stark. Having experienced the school system in both countries, I can say that Turkey can learn a lot from Canadian public schools.
Canada’s education system is controlled by each province independently, but overall, the country’s reputation for quality education is strong.
Canada accepts students from all around the world and gives them a chance to finish their education together. More than learning academically, students are also learning other cultures from each other.
On the other hand, Turkey has very few international students, and the curriculum is focused on academics and does not include discussion of social issues.
The Canadian education system also gives more opportunities to their students by letting them pick their own courses. The Turkish system, in contrast, offers the same schedule for all the students, reducing opportunity.
When Canadian students want to gain entrance to post secondary school, those schools will check the students’ entire grade 11 and 12 results. In Turkey, a student’s academic future depends on the result of a single, 3-hour university entrance exam. The Turkish government should re-design the system to base university entrance on more information than a single test.
Another important factor in both systems, is student’s sleeping hours and their health. The Turkish system is giving a hard time to their students and reducing student’s sleeping hours. Not only do students apply for post-secondary schools, they also apply to high schools which are ranked hierarchically. Students attend the “best” high school they can be accepted at. This leads to long commutes that take time away from a student’s schedule. In Canada, the system places the students at the closest school in their jurisdiction, which helps them to get more sleep.
Sleeping habits impact student health a lot more than other factors. When the students can’t get enough sleep, they can not grow properly either mentally and physically.
I hear my Canadian classmates complain about their school at times. All I can say is, you’re lucky we’re not in Turkey.