PISA director warns Turkey about changes in its education system

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German researcher and Director for Education and Skills at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Andreas Schleicher presents the OECD's report of Sweden's school system during a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, on May 4, 2015. Sweden needs to raise standards in classrooms and make teaching a more attractive profession in order to reverse its plummeting school grades, the OECD said in the report presented on a May 4, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TT NEWS AGENCY/ JANERIK HENRIKSSON +++ SWEDEN OUT / AFP PHOTO / TT NEWS AGENCY / JANERIK HENRIKSSON

Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) Director Andreas Schleicher warned Turkey on Thursday about changes to the education system, saying educators must be well qualified in order to effectively implement changes in the high-school entrance examination system.

Speaking during an education summit in Antalya, Schleicher said: “Multiple choice questions don’t allow the evaluation of students’ knowledge according to various criteria. Open-ended questions, however, allow an evaluation of students’ knowledge, critical thinking, creative thinking and analytical thinking,” T24 reported.

Underlining that open-ended exams also have difficulties of their own, Schleicher said teachers who evaluate the examination should be well educated and that anonymity must be maintained.

After Turkey removed the Transition from Primary to Secondary Education (TEOG) exam from the education system, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım announced that an open-ended question examination would replace a multiple choice test.

The elimination of TEOG came after a statement from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sept. 17 in which he said he wanted a new system to be introduced in place of TEOG. A day later, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) announced that TEOG, which was introduced by the same government in 2013, had been eliminated.

The move was highly criticized by experts, saying the change was done without any expert consultation.

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