- ABOUT US
Putting a strong emphasis on the participation of different stakeholders in policy-making processes, ERI embraces different strategies in its advocacy work, including face-to-face discussions with policy-makers, building multi-stakeholder coalitions, and regularly informing public opinion through various policy documents.
Advocacy is defined as the effort to influence public policy by strategically using knowledge to have a positive impact on people’s lives. The findings from ERI’s research are used not only to define problem areas but also to develop possible solutions. In line with the principles of participation, accountability and transparency, ERI catalyzes participatory processes to influence education policies and aims to set agendas for the discussion of current attitudes and values for social change.
- Rights in Education
ERI developed a project titled “Advocacy for the Fulfillment of Human Rights in Education through a Solid Knowledge Base and Strong Support for Civil Society,” which was awarded a European Commission Grant in June 2007 to be conducted in 22 months. Accordingly, in February 2009, ERI initiated the Human Rights in Education Project. Also supported by the European Commission, main objectives of the project were to broaden the space for constructive dialogue on controversial issues, to strengthen the political will to improve the legal framework regarding human rights in education through civil society collaboration and advocacy, and to develop tools for monitoring to be used by community-based organizations.
- Bilingualism and Education
Within the framework of Rights in Education Project, the "Bilingualism and Education" workshop was organized on 16-17 October 2009. The workshop aimed to discuss and develop potential solutions for problems faced by children whose mother tongues are a language other than Turkish and who therefore have negative experiences in access to education, quality in education and life accomplishments.
The policy note titled Bilingualism and Education in Turkey: Steps Towards Sustainable Solutions was published on December, 8 2010. In this note ERI presented a literature review on studies about children whose first languages are other than Turkish and who therefore have problems with access to education, attendance and success in education, highlighting the benefits of bilingualism for children.
- Rights in Education Working Group
As part of its work on rights in education, ERI has facilitated the Rights in Education Working Group which brought together academics, legal practitioners, teachers and civil society organizations working on education and/or human rights. Rights in Education Working Group provided a mutual learning platform through which various joint advocacy activities were realized to mobilize decision-makers and to empower right-holders.
- Religion and Education
ERI responded to the rising need for reform in the area of "religion and education" by initiating a multi-stakeholder debate. The principles and recommendations developed through this consensus-building process have been shared with the public, bureaucrats and MPs through a report titled “Religion and Schooling in Turkey: The Need for Reform.” Furthermore, the new curriculum for the Religious Culture and Moral Education course for high schools was evaluated. ERI’s work on religion and education continued within the framework of the Human Rights in Education project. A policy paper titled “Religion and Education in Turkey: Recent Developments and the Process of Change” was published in April 2011.
- Gender Equality in Education
ERI, Mother and Child Education Foundation (AÇEV), and Association for the Support and Training of Women Candidates (KA.DER) were awarded a European Commission grant in September 2004 to conduct a three-year project titled “Raising Women: Reducing Gender Disparity in Education through Functional and Political Literacy, Parent Training, Collective Action and Advocacy.” The project was finalized in June 2008.
As part of the project ERI undertook activities to improve local and national policy formulation, dialogue and monitoring with regards to gender equality in education. These activities included organizing the national monitoring group "Civic Initiative", provincial workshops, and the "Millennium Goals and Gender Equality Conferences." For more information please click here.
- Early Childhood Education
ERI is one of the partners of the “7 Is Too Late” campaign led by the Mother and Child Education Foundation (AÇEV). The campaign aimed to raise public awareness on the importance of early childhood education. ERI also supported AÇEV in advocating for the inclusion of one-year preschool education for the 60-72 months age group into compulsory education. ERI also prepared a background paper on early learning in Turkey, which was used by Bernard Van Leer Foundation in their efforts to develop a country strategy for 2011-2015.
- Quality and Effectiveness of Education
The information note titled "Quality Human Capital on the Road to European Union: Examples from Spain, Portugal and Poland” presents policies implemented by Spain, Portugal and Poland in order to develop their human capital. Based on an evaluation of these policies and practices, it offers recommendations for Turkey's education system.
- Curricula and Textbooks
New Curricula and Textbooks Project initiated by the Board of Education proved a valuable opportunity for ERI to make a contribution to educational policies and decision-making processes.
- Developing Process: ERI particularly focused on the Social Science Commission's work. In September 2003, ERI presented its recommendations for primary school students to the Board of Education.
- Public Opinion: In summer 2004, Head of Board of Education Prof. Dr. Ziya Selçuk, columnists and civil society leaders were brought together by ERI to inform public opinion about the new curricula and the philosophy behind the transformation.
- Monitoring and Evaluation: In July 2005, ERI presented the Final Report on the Curriculum Evaluation Commission, which had been formed to evaluate the new curriculum for basic courses in grades 1-5.
- International: ERI, World Bank, and the European Commission Support for Basic Education Project organized an international meeting titled "Curriculum Reform and Implementation in the 21st Century’’ in July 2005.
- Education Budget Monitoring
ERI published a policy note titled "Assessment of the Ministry of National Education Budget" in November 2007, its first work on the Ministry of National Education budget preparation process.
Prior to the July 22 elections in 2007, ERI released a declaration demanding from all political parties and independent candidates that priority be given to education programs.
- Right to Education in the Constitution
In response to the process of drafting a new constitution initiated by the 60th government, ERI prepared a note on “Principles Concerning the Right to Education in the Constitution” and lobbied for it before the government and the relevant commissions of expertise. Basing its approach to right to education on the principles of the welfare state, equality, secularity, democracy and cultural pluralism; ERI evaluated the right to education in the constitution within the framework of: goals of education; the right to education, gender equality and positive discrimination; governmental contribution to education; higher education; secularity and religious education; cultural pluralism.