Thousands of children every year; Hospitalized for childhood cancer, rare diseases or various chronic conditions. They are spending part of their lives in hospital for treatment.
This period can sometimes cover six months, sometimes several years and sometimes longer years. They are away from their childhood and social life when they are accustomed to say medicine, medicine, painful night. One thing that bothers them the most is not being able to go to school! Fear of not being in the same class with peers again!
However, many children who receive treatment after a while recover and continue their life from where they left off. However, due to long stay in the hospital, they lag behind their peers. Now there is a system that solves this problem of backwardness and disruption of education: hospital classrooms.
These classes, which work in partnership with the Ministry of National Education (MEB) in some hospitals; It enables kindergarten, primary, secondary and high school children to continue their education while receiving medical treatment.
They fall during treatment
Moreover, the ministry recruits teachers in the hospital classrooms. There are 38 hospital classes in various state and university hospitals in Turkey. Finally, for the first time in our country, a classroom was opened at a foundation hospital, Altınbaş University Medical Faculty Medical Park Bahçelievler Hospital. We also visited here and met the Medical Director of the Medical Park Bahkelivla Hospital and the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Altinbach University, Prof. Dr. Dr. We met with Tunç Fışgın and Melek Hanim, project manager of the Istanbul National Education Directorate.
During our visit to the hospital classroom, we encountered three-year-old Asia, who had recently been diagnosed with leukemia. Ayesha, who likes to be in the classroom and spends time with toys here, is with her mother, Hatice Acer.
Must come to class
Elvin Gesser is only three years old … the developmental work he does in the classroom and especially loves drawing. When she walks out of her room, she doesn’t return to class without stopping.
Busra Kararslan / 8 years old
Drawing makes me happy
“I like the hospital classroom, it’s both a playground and a place to teach. I love teaching here because I love and miss my school so much. My favorite subject is math. It’s a pleasure to draw and draw while I’m at it. “
Angel falls / Project Manager of Istanbul National Education Department
I wish it had made university exams easier
– When did the hospital’s classroom project start?
– In 1994, the Ministry of National Education (MEB) collaborated with Hacettepe University and the first hospital class was opened at Hacettepe Hospital. There are 48 hospital classes across Turkey. The first structure was opened as a primary school. So far no secondary school teacher has been assigned to any of the hospital classrooms. Only primary school teachers performed their duties at the hospital from Monday to Friday.
– The kids loved the hospital classroom. Do you think this class is done among them?
– My acquaintance with pediatric patients in 2013 was a coincidence because of one of my relatives. At that time we established the Color Give Your Life Association with volunteer teachers. We have also opened six hospital classrooms. We were going to the hospital as volunteer teachers, but we were doing more work. We brought writers and painters, we realized their dreams, but they always had a lack! Because school means childhood. We cannot think of a child independently of school. The children there are not children of any family, they are independent. They also love this sense of freedom.
– Do they have any feelings or thoughts that they share with you? Can you share with us?
– Here was a sick 18 year old boy I met. He had been receiving medical treatment for many years. “I tried to learn English even though I knew I couldn’t be better. Go, go, go to bed,” he said. Because doing something about his life made him happy. She felt in control of her life. Hospitalized children do not have to make decisions about their own lives. That is why education is important. Because they make decisions while studying. They make their own decisions about starting their classes and completing their homework.
– High school age children can now also benefit from these classes. Is it easy for those who are preparing for university exams but have been diagnosed with a disease?
– We had a high school student who was very successful, always got a degree, but was diagnosed in a university exam a month ago. He was successful, saying, “My life is over, I can’t pass the test,” although he was fine. We now have high school teachers for such children. They also prepare for the exam. “I see three patients a month in the hospital. I go to the intensive care unit at least three times. How can I compete with my peers? I have lung bleeding. I’m worried I won’t be able to go to class in the morning. But they Went home and did their homework, ”he says. Such children will benefit from university exams!
– Are the teachers employed in such schools trained?
– Of course. First, we have trained on the rights of the pediatric patient. Then they learn about the process of grief and trauma. The teacher is trained to understand the sick child and his family and to enable the teacher to control his own psychology. We are currently treating both mothers and teachers in separate groups. Because teachers are not accustomed to losing their students suddenly. He should be able to deal with it.
Professor Dr. Dr. Bronze skirt (Medical Director of Medical Park Bahcelevler Hospital and Dean of Altınbaş University Faculty of Medicine)
I’m in class Will i stay
– How did the development and progress of the hospital classroom project start?
– Treatment of children admitted to hospital for cancer takes a long time. As such, we’re in a hurry to get the kids back on track. But at the same time, children are growing up, developing, social creatures. We want to not only treat the disease, but also improve its education, brain development, mathematics and social intelligence. So we don’t want them to stay away from school education. Our clinic has long had psychologists and child development specialists. However, we have tried to open a hospital class so that we can make it more organized and give it a more legal identity.
– Does the Ministry of National Education appoint teachers for hospital classes?
– We have set up a hospital classroom for the first time in a foundation hospital. The Ministry of National Education has been very cooperative. The ministry formally recognizes this structure and appoints teachers. We have three permanent teachers in our Pediatric Hematology Oncology and Pediatric Transport Service. With coronavirus, although children cannot get together in the classroom, they take online classes in their beds in their home. He provides assistance in matters such as computers, tablets and books. Thus, we have a hospital school in Altınbaş University Medical Faculty Medical Park Bahcelevler Hospital. It made us very happy.
Their minds were always on school
– What does this school do for the treatment of children?
– Although children receive long-term medical treatment here, their peers continue their education and social life in school. Our concern, after the rehabilitation of our children, is that they should not be left behind for two or three years. While their treatment is going on, they can continue their education from where they left off.
– Have you noticed that any of your pediatric patients are concerned about their education lagging behind?
– Children experience a disease, but when they are treated, their minds are always with their school and friends. “My friends are going to school. Will I be in class during my treatment? They will go to the upper class, will I go to another class?” They are always worried when they ask questions like. When we did not have such a classroom, the teachers at our children’s school went to them and gave them report cards. They say happily, “I passed the class, then I continue with my friends.” The perception of school is deeper than we think. The fact that the school and class names are in the hospital positively affects the relationship with the hospital and the adaptation process. They build good relationships with their teachers. It is very important for survival.
They come with their friends
– Can only children with cancer benefit from hospital classes? How long does it take to treat them?
– Six months, a year or more … It’s not a single team. Childhood cancer is a big group. If the child’s treatment period lasts one month, then separation from his school and friends begins. This is where the hospital class intervenes and prevents these cracks. It’s not just cancer. We take care of all children with chronic diseases. Rheumatic Diseases, Heart Diseases, Rare Diseases … These include all of our children who have to stay in the hospital for long periods of time or who have to be hospitalized for a long time at regular intervals. Our teachers also go to the organ and transplant department.
– How do families communicate with open classes in the hospital?
– The long-term healing process naturally makes them protective. Although we say he has recovered and will be able to return to school, families say: “My teacher, if he is infected with the virus, he has taken chemotherapy, he is tired. Whether he is healthy or not, he should not. Read.” Our goal is to restore health; Not to create a child group that does not compete, does not produce and is dependent on parents. We want a child who moves forward with his friends. This is what the hospital school serves.