Survey: 98.7 percent want education in mother language in Turkey


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According to the results of a recent survey carried out by the Socio-Political Field Research Center, 87.7 percent of respondents say that education should be in the mother language starting from pre-school.

The Socio-Political Field Research Center has shared the results of its survey regarding the prevalence of mother language use other than Turkish and education in the mother language in Turkey.

With the participation of 2,238 people whose mother language is not Turkish, the survey was carried out in the provinces of İstanbul, İzmir, Ankara, Bursa, Mersin, Adana, Antalya, Antep, Adıyaman, Diyarbakır, Van, Mardin, Urfa, Batman, Şırnak, Hakkâri, Dersim, Muş and Ağrı.

Participating in the survey on January 15-29, the respondents answered questions regarding their attitudes, perceptions and tendencies towards the “Living Languages and Dialects Elective Course”.

About the respondents’ background

While 86.2 percent of the respondents speak Kurmanji (a dialect of Kurdish) as their mother language, 9.4 percent speak Kirmanckî / Zazakî, 1.3 percent speak Armeni̇an, 1.1 percent speak Syriac, 0.7 percent speak Arabic, 0.5 percent speak Circassian, 0.4 speak the Laz language and 0.4 percent speak the Pomak language as their mother languages.

54.3 percent of the respondents speak Kurmanji in their households / within their families while 36.2 percent speak Turkish and 6.2 percent speak Kirmanckî / Zazakî. According to the survey results, women use their mother languages less frequently than men do.

As for the young respondents in the 18-24 age group with Circassian, Armenian, Homshetsi, the Pomak language and Syriac as their mother languages, they do not use them in their households.

While Kurmanji dialect is used more frequently in the young age group, the use of this dialect decreases depending on the educational level.

Some highlights from the survey results are as follows:

‘How often do you use your mother language?’

When the participants are asked how frequently they speak their mother languages in their households / families, 67.8 percent say, “always” while 6.5 percent say “rarely” and 2.9 percent say “never”.

When asked about the language that they use on the street and in social life, 55 percent say they speak Turkish, 43.8 percent say they use Kurmanji and 1.2 percent say that they use Kırmanckî / Zazakî.

The respondents of the survey are also asked, “What is your level of knowledge of your mother language?” While 62.8 percent can speak, write, understand and read in their mother languages, 24.5 percent can speak and understand, but cannot write, 7.3 percent can understand, but cannot speak, read or write and 5.4 percent can do neither of them.

Mother language in education

The respondents of the survey who have children in school age also respond to questions regarding their education.

When they are asked whether they have made a request for education in the mother language for their children, 52.2 percent answer “No” while 47.8 percent of the respondents answer in the affirmative.

When inquired about the results of their applications and requests, 43.4 percent say, “Even though we raised a request, no course was opened, no justification was given.” 27 percent say that “even though they requested it, no course was opened due to the limited number of requests”, 22.3 percent indicate that “the course was not opened due to lack of teachers.”

Only 5.1 percent of the respondents answer that a mother language course was opened for the mother language that they requested.

Why didn’t you request it?

The ones who did not make a request also answer a question about why they did not request education in their mother languages. While 23.8 percent “did not know that there was such an elective course”, 21.6 say “when they chose education in their mother languages as part of living languages elective course, it was rejected for various reasons.”

17.8 percent indicate that “their preferences were not taken into account by the school administration and their children were subjected to education in different departments.” According to 14.8 percent of the respondents, “their children are not in an age to elect the related course”.

While 11.8 percent do not believe that “the elective courses offered as part of living languages and dialects contribute to learning mother languages”, 6.6 percent of the respondents express concerns that their children “might be subjected to discrimination” as a result.

Do you want education in mother language?

To the question “Do you want children to receive education in their mother languages”, 98.7 percent say “Yes” and 1.3 percent say “No”.

When asked about the quality of education in living languages and dialects elective courses, 68.5 percent say “highly insufficient”, 19.7 percent say “insufficient”, 10.1 percent say “I am indecisive”, 1.3 percent say “adequate” and 0.4 percent say “highly adequate”.

In response to a question about education in the mother language, 87.7 percent said that education must be in the mother language starting from pre-school years while 8.1 percent indicate that education must be offered in their mother language starting from the primary school and 2.8 percent say that mother language courses and elective courses are enough. 

Source: Bianet


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Survey: 98.7 percent want education in mother language in Turkey

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