The Village Institutes Research and Education Development Foundation


The Uncompleted Education Revolution

In between 1936-1946… Young Republic has reached its 10th year anniversary and great works were accomplished.

However a fundemental social, cultural and economic restructuring had not been achieved yet.

People are poor and the state is overwhelmed by Ottoman debt. The economic problems are huge. Ther is no teacher and primary school in 30.000 villages out of 40.000.

The war is at the doorstep…The State intervention increased, black market is everywhere…

Atatürk saw the peasent as “the master of the nation” and express his understanding of education in this manner:

 “The aim of the Turkish National Education is; tor render knowledge into a useful tool in life to reach success rather than a tool for oppression or a pleasure of civilisation.” 

A prompt solution is sought after. Atatürk finds a solution…Successfull sergeants and corporals will be trained and will become educators and guide peasents all over Turkey.

1937: Trainer Courses start to open

Thousands of trainers build primary schools with 3 classes allongside villiagers, guide them and take the responsibility of education. Between 1937-1940 four village teacher schools are opened for trial. The outcomes are positive…

Hasan Ali Yücel becomes the Minister of Education, İsmail Hakkı Tonguç beocomes the General Director of Primary Education

According to Tonguç “The village issue is not simply structured development of a village but structural and meaningful revival of the villagers and villages from the inside. For Tonguç and his team “there is no village problem”, instead there are problems of “intellectuals”, “occupations”“education”  and on top of them ther is a “country problem”.

1940.04.17: 3803 numbered act is put in place. The Village Institutes are established; “village teachers and other useful proffessionals will be trained” at agricultural areas… Graduated Teachers “ will individually create samples such as fields, vineyards, gardens and studios to provide guidance for the villagers in order to carry out agricultural works in a scientific manner.”

1942: High Village Institute is established in Ankara, Hasanoğlan. It is an institution that is going to make education plans and research at an academic level. The institution provides training to teachers for village institutes. The first level of the system is completed. The traveling head teacher, inspector, instructor, teacher, professor and administrators will exchange information and experiences and the system will be dynamic and self reviving. From East Anataolia to Thrace, the whole Nation is divided into 21 regions and village instutes are set up in each of them.

1946: Hasan Ali Yücel, the founder and great educator İsmail Hakkı Tonguç and his team were dismissed of their duties.

Landlords and their domestic and international supporters did not allow this great attempt to materialized. However they couldn’t dare to end an institution which was so effective and had good results…This process happens gradually over 8 years.

1947: First the program is changed. Basic principles and activities such as job training, student participation in management, the sourcing of land and equipment to graduates is ended.

In the same year, the High Village Institute which serves as the brain of the system is closed down. The students are transferred to other schools. Some students do their military service as sergeants because they are leftist.

1948: Teachers training courses are ended. The Village Instutes, although remaining with the same names, the content is tottaly changed and eventually girls and boy students are seperated.

1954: They are turned into Primary Schools and are completely closed.

Thus the application of this unique piece of Educational History which was proposed by UNESCO for developping countries was ended.


Until the 1945-46 Education Year:

17 321 teachers, 8756 trainers, 1599 health officers, mllions of graduated students, dozens of writers, scientists, artists;

710 buildings, 15 000 acres of  processed land , 750.000 planted seedlings, 1.200 acres of vineyards..