The First Scholar to Practiced Distance Education by Letter in Türkiye: Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
Keywords:Bediuzzaman, Distance Education by Letter, Religious Education, Madrasatu’z-Zahra, Said Nursi
The history of distance education in the world goes back three centuries. Although distance education studies started in 1927 in Türkiye, it could not be implemented due to the alphabet revolution in 1928. The studies that started in 1957 produced results in 1962. Distance religious education could only be given within the body of Open Education Faculty in 1998. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi prepared the Madrasatu’z-Zahra project to increase the literacy rate in the society and raise the level of education. Although this project was approved by Sultan Reshat, one of the Ottoman sultans, it could not be implemented due to the First World War. This project was also approved by the 1st Grand National Assembly of Türkiye. However, due to the later developments, the project could not be implemented again. After this stage, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi focused his studies on non-formal education by letter. He succeeded in reaching large masses of people in a very short time with the education by letter system he implemented as of 1926. He revised the Madrasatu’z-Zahra project. He delivered his letters to every corner of the country through his students, whom he called "Nur Postacıları" (Postmen of Light). He adopted an education model in which religious and positive sciences were taught together. As a result of this educational model, his works have been translated into more than 50 world languages today. The number of those who read these works and converted to Islam was determined as 32%. In this study, it is aimed to examine the educational theories that Bediuzzaman Said Nursi wanted to implement in the Madrasatu’z-Zahra project. The study is limited to Bediuzzaman Said Nursi's studies of distance education by letter. The study is a qualitative study and data were obtained using document scanning method. The original copies in Ottoman Turkish were taken as the basis as much as possible for scanning the documents.
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