Fahamettin AKINGÜÇ, Master of Civil Engineering
Fahamettin Akıngüç, Master of Civil Engineering, was born in Istanbul on January 8, 1926. He has completed his primary, secondary, and high school education in Eskişehir and got into Engineering Academy in 1943. During his education, the school was turned into Istanbul Technical University. He graduated from the Faculty of Civil Engineering there in 1950. After completing his military service, he worked as an engineer and the chief of bureau for two years in Istanbul Technical University Department of Projects and Civil Engineering. Afterwards, he founded his own firm and undertook construction projects of many facilities until 1960.
In 1960, he founded Kültür Schools in Istanbul, one of the first private schools of the era, and continued his career in the education sector thereafter.
Fahamettin Akıngüç proved that his engineering education at ITU could also be successfully implemented in the education sector. By introducing the innovations and dynamism of private entrepreneurship to the education sector, he has risen to prominence with “student-centered” personal planning and implementations in order to create a modern human being out of the ‘‘student material’’ in his schools.
After the year 1980, he created the Kültür Schools Community by founding new schools in addition to the existing Kültür School; such as Kültür 2000 School, 2 primary schools, 2 high schools, 1 science high school and 6 pre-schools. In 1989, he founded Kültür Koleji Eğitim Vakfı (KEV – Kültür Schools Education Foundation) with his family in order to begin the foundation process of İstanbul Kültür University. İstanbul Kültür University was founded on July 15, 1997 under the auspices of İstanbul Technical University. He has acted as the Chairman of the Board of Overseers until the year 2009 and left his post to Dr. Bahar Akıngüç Günver in the same year. He is still the Honorary Chairman of the Board of Overseers at the university.
To solve the problems in the education, Fahamettin Akıngüç approached them systematically with the mentality of an engineering, and his innovations and implementations can be summarized as follows:
Akıngüç has adopted a student-centered education as his main philosophy for the educational activities. He directed and improved the educational practices in his schools by approaching education as a transformation process which should be planned according to the personal traits of each student.
He has begun the “guidance” services to the students for the first time in the education sector. Also for the first time, he has employed psychologists in his schools, had them observe the students’ improvement and problems with a scientific method, and implemented a system to report these observations to the parents periodically. By taking into consideration the key role of the teachers in a successful education, he has sent his teachers in groups to educational workshops abroad in order to increase their knowledge and insights related to the teaching activities. In order to help the teachers and administrative staff improve themselves, he has founded an ‘‘Improvement Center’’ within his schools and provided courses and seminars by academicians from various departments throughout the year.
Believing that another important factor related to the educational activities is the ‘educational material’, he has published a magazine for the primary schools named ‘‘Ünitelerle Beş Yıl’’ (Five Years with Units), and in addition to that, he has started to publish the magazine named ‘‘Yaşadıkça Eğitim’’ (Lifelong Education) where many educators from different levels write articles even today.
As a follow-up to his innovative and pioneering activities in the education sector, he has started a project to gather every private education institution in our country under a single roof and acted as the president of the Özel Okullar Derneği (Private Schools Association) for many years. During this period, he has aimed to increase the standard of education for private schools and institutionalize the practices, which urged him to begin a collaboration with the Ministry of Education on every level. In order to observe the developments in the education field in the entire world, he has frequently visited primary and secondary education institutions in the world either personally or with his administrators to see how education systems worked in developed countries. He has tried to implement these innovations in his own schools on areas such as artistic applications, student organizations, mental and athletic exercises and foreign language education.
As an ITU graduate, he is recognized in the education society as a ‘‘connoisseur of education’’ for his 50 years of work in the education sector. As a matter of fact, Türkiye İş Bankası has published Akıngüç’s biography titled ‘‘Engineer of Education – A Book on Fahamettin Akıngüç’’ in the year 2007.
Fahamettin Akıngüç has received a commemorative plaque from ITU Rectorate in 2000, since it was his 50th anniversary of graduation. Besides, he has received the ‘‘Silver Bee’’ Award in the year 2008 for his contributions to the construction of the student residences at ITU Ayazağa Campus.
Fahamettin Akıngüç has used his engineering training in the education sector and set a successful example. He has trained many valuable young prospects for the Turkish society by devoting his entire life to education.
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