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The historical and political context of adult literacy in Turkey

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The aim of this article is to analyse the development of adult literacy education in Turkey in a historical and political context. The development of adult literacy education is studied in three different historical periods. To spread literacy and create novel institutions, although these institutions were closed later, played a critical role in the formation of modern Turkey. During the whole history of modern Turkey, five great mass literacy campaigns were organised. After this period of construction, later in the period of rapid social change adult literacy education was institutionalised as non-formal education within Ministry of National Education and literacy education was defined as a public service. Literacy education still continues to be a public service during the neo liberal transformation period. Today illiteracy is still an important problem. Because of the regional, class and gender inequalities in education, illiteracy turned into being a chronic and structural problem. Therefore the solution of the problem necessitates positive action politics and more support.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Ankara University, Turkey

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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