Think Tank Tracker,
Safety beyond the school gate
There are around 16 million students and around 600,000 teaching staff around Turkey. As such a big sector, education in Turkey needs to be addressed from multiple perspectives. The International Strategic Research Organization (USAK/ISRO) has published a report on security in and around schools. The report presents a different perspective on school security in Turkey and gives suggestions on how to strategically approach the topic, analyze relevant issues and assess existing security threats. Among other suggestions, this report posits that security threats and problems at schools should be addressed by a cooperative of different actors and institutions.
The report was prepared by Dilek Karal -- whose research interests include women, immigration, urbanization, language, culture and politics -- with the help of Mehmet Güçer and Elvan Aydemir. The report displays a significant depth of research and analysis by the author. Firstly, Karal argues that as living standards and future expectations increase in Turkey, so too do security threats. The author argues that it is not enough to work only on the prevention of crime and violence in schools: The issue is a broader topic, which includes the prevention of crime and violence; the revising of the physical state of the schools and school properties; the development and psychological state of the students; the relations of students with their families; and good communication between the generations.
The author describes “school” as a place where children are not beaten by their teachers, the administration, or the personnel of the institution, and where they are not in direct contact with violence. The social life, interior and design of the school must provide children with a sense of security, away from violence. Security perception in schools is as important as education, for the author. According to this study, there is an inverse relation between students’ success and the violence they encounter at school. The author finds schools in Turkey successful in terms of education, and links this to students’ sense of security at school. But, the author argues, to increase students’ success in learning, self-confidence, and general quality of life, schools need to offer them opportunities to express themselves and show their talents. Furthermore, the author claims, the school environment is also very important for children. In Turkey, she argues, there is a problem