Primary Education

Primary school (Turkish: İlköğretim Okulu) lasts 4 years. Primary education covers the education and teaching directed to children between 6-14, is compulsory for all citizens, boys or girls, and is given free of charge in public schools. Primary education institutions are schools that provide eight years of uninterrupted education, at the end of which graduates receive a primary education diploma. The first four years of the Primary School is sometimes referred to as "First School, 1. Level" (Turkish: İlkokul 1. Kademe) but both are correct.

There are four core subjects at First, Second and Third Grades which are; Turkish, Maths, Hayat Bilgisi (literally meaning "Life Knowledge") and Foreign Language. At Fourth Grade, "Hayat Bilgisi" is replaced by Science and Social Studies. The foreign language taught at schools changes from school to school. The most common one is English, while some schools teach German, French or Spanish instead of English. Some private schools teach two foreign languages at the same time.

Earlier the term "middle school" (tr: orta okul) was used for the three years education to follow the then compulsory five years at "First School" (tr: ilk okul). Now the second four years of primary education are sometimes referred to as "First School, 2. Level" (Turkish: İlkokul 2. Kademe) but both are correct. Already primary schools may be public or private schools. Public Schools are free but Private Schools' admission fees change from school to school. Foreign languages taught at Private Schools are usually at a higher level than at Public Schools for most Private Schools prefer hiring native speakers as teachers.

There are five core subjects at sixth and seventh grades; Turkish, maths, science, social studies and foreign language. At eighth grade, social studies is replaced by "Turkish History of Revolution and Kemalism" (tr: T.C. İnkilap Tarihi ve Atatürkçülük).

In the academic year 2001-2002, 10.3 million students were being educated and 375,500 teachers were employed in 34,900 schools