The Turkish education system is screwing with me. Literally!
The village school just decided in all its wisdom to amalgamate the morning and afternoon classes. This means that all of Year 6 has been allocated an afternoon session which means my entire life has been uprooted.
The past twelve months have been early morning starts. I am used to the early morning starts and after 3 months of holidays I had to re-adjust to these early morning starts again. Up at 6.00, breakfast, dressed and Daughter out the door in time for school to start at 6.50 in the morning. I will just say that again yes 6.50 ante meridiem. For me an early morning start meant washing done early, house tidied early, out to do the shopping or run errands – I even had time to blog – while Daughter was at school and, be home by 1 pm when she walks through the door. I was totally motivated to get things done. It also gave Daughter lots of time to hang out with friends after school, get her homework done and spent 2 hours a day with her tutor.
Now our carefully made routine has been thrown thoughtlessly out the window by an unthinking school board. I understand why this situation has come about. In Turkey the Ataturk Reforms put in place that primary school education must be available for all in Turkey and that it is compulsory between the ages of 5-16. Compulsory it may well be however if there are not enough schools these ridiculous plans are put into effect and, like Daughter, children found themselves either up at 5.45 or (as is the case now) does not get home until after 7 at night when it is pitch black outside thanks to the lack of street lights.
The village school is adequate. I cannot say much more than that. We opted to put Daughter in the village school to give her the opportunity to learn the language without the pressure that an özel okul (private school) puts on kids and to make friends with other children in the village. The teachers worked very closely with Daughter to help her transition into a new learning environment and I cannot fault the assistance that the teachers have given us. She is currently taught Turkish, maths, science, social studies and foreign language (English) although she spends half of the English lesson teaching English to the teacher! She also does religious studies (definitely a bone of contention with her and a situation that brought us up to the school more than once). Oh and did you know that Turkish primary students are not taught about any other country until high school? I imagine that this is to teach them about national pride (Turkish are very proud countrymen) but to watch Daughter draw a map of the world as home work recently and she had to label “Türkiye” – Turkey, “Avrupa – Europe”, “Aysa” – Asia and “Amerika” – America. Frankly the lack of detail made me feel a little ill. I questioned where Australia was but apparently Avustralya didn’t even make it into the equation! Umm Hello?? I made Daughter go back and draw Australia in and put a big ass arrow on it! *sigh*
It is clear to me that once The Turk returns from his “holiday” (read that as luckily visiting Australia when he had his heart attack) we will be visiting the private schools to decide which school is best for Daughter and, as a bonus, the private schools have normal school hours albeit longer school hours although I haven’t made that public knowledge just yet. Yes private school education is definitely on the cards now and, perhaps with the normal school hours (and longer hours) I can take back control of my now out of control life.
Right now the only good thing to come out of this ridiculous change in our routine is Daughter getting a decent breakfast and lunch prior to going to school. It also means I don’t have to yell at her to get her ready for school. Today she turned to me at 10 and said, “Well I guess I better start getting ready.” Um – OK!