Boğaziçi University Centre for Educational Policy Studies (BEPAM) is an interdisciplinary centre working on a broad range of educational topics from various perspectives. BEPAM offers educational and vocational services and training and provides guidance and support to educational and political institutions for developing policy frameworks and training programmes. It also organises national and international networking activities including workshops and conferences for educational programme and policy development. In Turkey, educational policies and programmes are a particularly topical and sensitive issue.
Founded in 2013, BEPAM employs two permanent staff and cooperates with about 60 associated members representing a broad range of educational fields, ranging from adult education, pre-primary and special education to educational policies and statistics of education. BEPAM integrates the diversity of expertise and target groups on the basis of democratisation and inclusion principles, reaching out to individuals disadvantaged in education and training and supports equal opportunities for education and employment. Apart from providing services and training for teachers in various fields of education, delivering vocational training and empowering the unemployed and socio-economically disadvantaged in society, in particular women, are key priority areas. Examples of on-going BEPAM projects are:
- Mother Tongue and Education Web: Funded by EIDHR, this project focuses on the right to learn and the use of the mother tongue in education. It focuses on the Kurdish, Armenian and other Non-Muslim citizens and minorities in Turkey like the Laz or the Circassians who have not had the right to be educated in their mother tongue. The project aims to draw a map of different educational needs in Turkey and to develop programmes and policies for the development of educational programmes in the mother language.
- Educational Statistics Corpus since the foundation of the Turkish Republic: This project, funded by Boğaziçi University, aims to bring more transparency into the educational statistics for Turkey. Although Turkish government offers selected statistical data, these are not scientifically organised, not systematic, do not include minorities and lack objectivity. The aim is to build up encyclopaedic volumes to be made available for researchers from all disciplines and backgrounds.
- Pre-service and In-service Training for Preschool Teachers: Carried out in cooperation with Diyarbakir Municipality to train preschool teachers about democratic education, mother tongue education and innovative teaching methods. Trainings are delivered in Diyarbakir, the Kurdistan region of Turkey.