TPF believes that education is a human right throughout life and that access must be matched by quality. We see the role of education to prepare the new generation for the journey ahead of them.
In Turkey, the population below age 15 is one of the highest among OECD countries. Yet, they remain below the OECD average in reading, mathematics, and science, particularly amongst disadvantaged students from low socio-economic backgrounds. 35 percent of 15-29 year-olds are neither employed nor in school. Average schooling is a mere 7.6 years, and the youth unemployment rate is 17 percent. Various priorities need to be addressed simultaneously, including improving equity between regions and urban and rural areas; addressing the needs of disadvantaged students; investing in teachers and school leaders; accessing and completing secondary and higher education; and investing in quality in education.
TPF targets both equity and equality in education with the projects it supports.
TPF provides leadership in education, invest in strengthening the education system, and responds to contemporary challenges through education with gender equality as an underlying principle. Accordingly, our programs focus on educational development from pre-school to higher education and beyond.
Our Goals are:
1. Advancing Policy: Supporting policies that explore ways to transform education systems such that the entire system becomes a model of sustainability and provides ample opportunities to explore, debate, discover, and learn. Accordingly, support programs that integrate quality education policy into the curriculum, teacher training, the development of learning materials, and the learning environment.
2. Building capacities of educators and trainers: Support teachers to prepare K-12 students to become responsible citizens capable of working towards an environmentally sustainable, globally interconnected, equitable, and diverse society.
3. Empowering and mobilizing youth: A need to earn an income is one of the main reasons for rising high-school drop-out rates. TPF provides students with scholarships to increase schooling and invests in youth empowerment programs to enable students to feel financially secure enough to attend school. We also invest in programs that provide technical and vocational skills.
4. Investing in Infrastructure: Providing a safe, secure learning environment is vital to achieving our educational goals. When schools don’t have enough books, are missing toilets, need elevators for the disabled, or are reaching their capacity, they need funding to help improve their environment. That’s where TPF steps in. Turkish Philanthropy Funds’ partners help repair schools, build new classrooms, provide additional school supplies, and update their technology.
5. Closing the Digital Divide: An estimated 60 percent of the students in Turkey lack access to a computer at home. Our partners report that many additional students are limited in their use of online learning because they share a single device, slow and unreliable internet access, or restricted data plans with other family members. Students in economically disadvantaged homes, traditionally underserved groups, and rural communities are more likely to be left offline. TPF works with partners to provide computers, tablets, internet connection, and online classes.