“The biggest problem for children in our country is access to healthy and adequate food. They do not have access to adequate and modern education. In other words, there is no ‘equal opportunity in education’ in our country. The number of children getting married at an early age and the number of children becoming laborers at an early age is increasing.
“The number of children exposed to orthodox information, starting from kindergarten, is so high that it cannot be underestimated. Especially in the summer months, through open courses under different names, children’s minds are poisoned with orthodox information. ”
Child Psychology Association President. PS With Suleiman HECEBIL, the problems of our country’s children, We talked about why our children and young people look to the future with anxiety, fear and frustration, we talked about Generation Z and Alpha Generation, in short, a lot about children …
Professor Suleiman, what kind of research is done in our country in the field of child psychology?
In our country, there are no private or government organizations that create institutional services, provide training or conduct research in child psychology. One of our two most important institutions, established many years ago and providing services in the field of child mental health, is the Istanbul University Istanbul Medical Faculty Child Psychiatry Clinic and the other is the Hastep University Hastep Medical Faculty Child Psychiatry Department. Both of our organizations have been providing excellent services in the field of child mental health for many years. However, both of our institutions are naturally effective in the field of disease and pathology in the field of child psychology.
In our country, research on child psychology in universities is mostly conducted by the Departments of Psychology, Psychological Counseling and Guidance at the level of either postgraduate thesis or doctoral thesis. The first institution in the field of child psychology in our country is the Faculty of Letters, Department of Pedagogy, Istanbul University. The department in question has done a lot of research for children, created many tests and published a children’s publication. However, it was renamed by the junta on September 12, 1980, and then shut down. There is still a huge gap and need in the field of child psychology in our country. The Child Psychology Association has come out to fill the void in this case.
Sir, when was the Child Psychology Association established and what is the purpose of the association?
We established our association in 2017 by meeting a group of my colleagues. We begin the journey by thinking about the existence and functioning of the Child Psychology Association in our society. The goal of our association is to develop child psychology as a branch of science and a field of expertise in our country and world and to ensure that all kinds of information and services produced in the field of child psychology are presented for convenience. The Society’s Child Psychology Association’s vision is to create and provide preventive and protective services to all sections of society, especially families, in the areas of child mental health, child development and education. Today, child psychology services are not accessible to every citizen. The reason for our association is to ensure that the benefits, solutions and services produced by child psychology are accessible to all sections of society.
What kind of activities does the Child Psychology Association carry out and / or plan?
We can list the main activities of our association as follows:
A Conduct research on child psychology, to support planned research,
A Organizing conferences and seminars in collaboration with public municipalities, government agencies and organizations to raise awareness of families and teachers in the field of child psychology,
A To publish publications on child psychology,
A Leading the opening of child psychology departments in universities and assisting in the creation of program content,
A Conduct vocational training for members of the psychology profession,
A Develop and adapt tests, scales and inventories to child psychology.
What is the biggest problem of current children?
A The biggest problem for children in our country is access to healthy and adequate food. Most of our children do not have access to adequate and healthy nutrition. Malnutrition has long exceeded the levels that threaten the development of our children. Malnutrition is the most important factor that negatively affects physical and mental development. Because of this, children from low-income families are at risk and need protection and care.
A They do not have access to adequate and modern education. In other words, there is no ‘equal opportunity in education’ in our country. Unfortunately, there are many more equal opportunities gaps between the social segments and this gap is getting bigger. When entering public schools, safety, health and quality issues can be seen. The schools have laxity and mismanagement. Inadequate resources, inadequate facilities, inadequate curriculum and educational process do not allow our children to develop their reasoning skills. The problem of thinking skills is increasing in most of the new generation. Inadequate schooling has reduced the expectations and hopes of families and children from education and hence the number of children deprived of education at an early age is increasing rapidly. Despite all this, children who have not lost hope in education also face a rote learning process due to preparation for multiple-choice exams.
A Child neglect and abuse: The number of children getting married at an early age and the number of children becoming laborers at an early age is increasing. However, the number of children exposed to orthodox information, starting from kindergarten, is so high that it cannot be underestimated. Especially in the summer months, through open courses under different names, children’s minds are poisoned with orthodox information.
A Digitization is inevitable for all areas of life, but as long as children’s screen time is long, there is not much to learn and discover on the screen for certain elements of intelligence (visual and auditory memory, attention, reasoning, etc.). Information is easily found on the screen and is mostly unnecessary. In short, the veil threatens the future of children.
A Our children and youth look to the future with anxiety, fear and frustration. What is happening every day in the country, murder of women, child rape, news, TV shows and social media events and the scenes they are facing on the streets add to the frustration and anxiety. Whenever they get a chance, they dream of finding their future abroad.
What do you think of Professor Suleiman, Generation Z and Generation Alpha?
Of course, categorizing children according to many headings is easy and not very accurate. However, this title can be useful for easy understanding of the subject. Those born between 1997 and 2012 are called the Z generation, and those born later are called the Alpha generation. Of course, the Generation Z has different characteristics from other generations:
A They are sensitive to nature, do not like human rights, anti-war, anger, violence,
A Digital Native communicates with children all over the world.
A They represent the group that is most concerned about their future, the murder in the country, the culture of fear and the pressures around them.
A If the opportunity arises, they want to stay and study in another country.
A They are not very interested in politics.
A They usually lean to the left.
A They don’t watch TV, they like to watch TV series online.
A They don’t have a Facebook account, they like social media like Twitter and YouTube.
A Young music lovers.
A They like to survive in the moment.
A It has its own values.
Generation Z believes that Turkey is unmanaged. In a survey, they gave the following answers to the question “How is Turkey governed”:
A Poor: 62.8%
A Not good or bad: 13.3%
A Good: 22.4%
A Don’t know: 1.5%
Generation Z will determine the outcome of the election. Number of ZZ voters:
A In the 2018 election: 4.2 million
A In the 2019 election: 5.4 million
A In the 2023 election: 10.4 million
However, as far as I can see, no political party has yet developed and determined a strategy that will attract the attention of Generation Z.
Thank you, Suleiman. Turkey is for all of us, education is for all of us.