The Panel on Access of Hospitalized Children to the Right to Education was held in Ankara with the participation of our Board Members, Lawyer Harun Mertoğlu and Dilek Ertürk, as well as many guests.
Panel, started with the opening speech of Board Member Atty Harun Mertoğlu. In his speech, Mertoğlu emphasized the necessity of observing the best interests of the child in cases where the child is the subject and stated that the measures taken for children cannot be considered contrary to the principle of equality as per the Constitution.
Session Moderator and Founding General Director of the Ministry of National Education, General Directorate of Special Education of Guidance and Counseling Services, Prof. Dr. Necate Baykoç Dönmez talked about the history of hospital schools and informed that the first hospital school was established in Austria in 1917. Prof. Dönmez that when the General Directorate of Special Education of Guidance and Counseling Services Education was established in Turkey, the first thing to do was to implement hospital schools. İn this context Prof. Dr. Dönmez stated that a hospital school was opened for the first time in 1993 within the body at Hacettepe University.
Melek Okur, Istanbul Provincial Directorate of National Education Hospital and Home Education Unit Coordinator, was among the panelists, said that the expression of sick child is not a correct usege, and that the expression "child sick" should be used. Okur also emphasized the importance of increasing the number of volunteer and expert teachers about the access of hospitalized children to the right to education. In her presentation, Okur said that "Coloring the children’s services is visually important in terms of the access of hospitalized children to the right to education."
Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Department of Child Health and Diseases Lecturer Prof. Dr. Elif Nursel Özmert underlined that in a study conducted in Australia, it was concluded that children with chronic diseases have a higher risk of being developmentally fragile in all developmental areas compared to their peers. Prof. Dr. Özmert emphasized that children with chronic diseases need early intervention and support especially in the social and emotional field.
Ezgi Turan, Art Therapist of the Give Life Association, said that"1.5 million children in Turkey cannot continue their education due to their treatment. The disease is temporary, childhood is permanent." She emphasized the importance of the issue. She said that as Association, they attach importance to the telepathic effect in the playrooms they opened, and they are trying to break the traumatic effects of the crisis that the child has been through since the day he was diagnosed. Turan stated that the clear reduction of pain in children receiving chemotherapy with artistic activities reveals the importance of studies in this direction.
Teacher Murat Gündüz, who works at the hospital school, said that they are together with children, who have different conditions, from all over Turkey, they give education in multi-class classrooms and that they make efforts to protect children with weak immune systems from harm. He stated that they provide online training not only to children who are in the hospital during the day, but also to children who continue their treatment at home. Gündüz said that "We are constantly informing the families of the children about they should to do in this process. Our aim is not to alienate the child from life. We motivate children and families by explaining that the hospital process is temporary." said.