Darüşşafaka Educational Institutions, the first school established by a non-governmental organization both in Ottoman Empire and in Turkey, have been providing full-scholarship, boarding and high quality education since 1873. Originally founded with a view to providing the gifted and fatherless children with inadequate financial facilities with the chance to have access to a good education, Darüşşafaka has started to extend the same opportunity to motherless children as well since the year 2000. Today, at Darüşşafaka, almost 1,000 children from all over the country receive boarding education in English with full scholarship from the 1st secondary education grade until high school graduation.
Equal Opportunity in Admission Exam
Aiming to bring up children as lifelong learning, researching, questioning, modern, self - confident leader individuals who have adopted and internalized the Republican values and are aware of their duties and responsibilities towards their country, society and family by providing them “equal opportunities in education”, Darüşşafaka holds a countrywide Admission Exam every year, and strives to reach all students meeting its criteria in the light of its principle of “equal opportunities in education.” Considering the great differences in education quality between different regions of Turkey, Darüşşafaka has changed its exam system in the year 2008 and is now enrolling its students through an aptitude test measuring their mental and creative thinking skills.
High Quality Education
In its modern campus in Maslak, Darüşşafaka offers students a high quality education in the European Union (EU) standards. Classes consist of maximum 24 students. At Darüşşafaka, the language of instruction is Turkish and English. Offering education in English since 1955, it offers German or French as additional foreign languages from the sixth year onwards. Aiming to support the learning through experience, subjects such as science, physics, chemistry and IT are taught in dedicated labs.
On the academic front, apart from the curriculum devised by the Turkish Ministry of National Education, such different programs as “Children as Researchers Program” aiming to equip the students with scientific thinking and methodology skills, and IB (International Baccalaureate) Middle Years Programme aiming to equip the students with interdisciplinary planning, global holistic learning and criteria-focused assessment are also applied. In addition, “thinking training” intending to further develop the critical thinking skills of students, and courses such as chess and drama, and Turkish and English Writing Workshops, and such other workshops as reading hour are also organized starting from 1st grade in secondary school.