10 THOUSAND SCHOOLS IN BASIC EDUCATION PROJECT FINALIZED"10,000 Schools in Basic Education" Project which was designed in order to reduce success and opportunity differences between schools and reinforce equal opportunity in education by the Ministry of National Education is finalized. Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer attended the closing ceremony of the project held in Diyarbakır. The Ministry allocated a total of 4 billion liras for the project.
Closing ceremony of "10,000 Schools in Basic Education Project" which was initiated on September 16, 2021 in order to decrease success differences, maintain equal opportunity in education, support the professional development training programs of teachers, reinforce school climate and respond maintenance, repair and basic needs of schools and finalized recently was held in Diyarbakır.
In addition to Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer, deputy ministers, ministry bureaucrats, UNICEF representatives, provincial directors of national education, school administrators, teachers and students attended the closing ceremony.
Ceremony began with the mini concert of the "Special Voices Choir" and continued with the keynote speech of Minister Özer.
Reminding that the most permanent capital of a country is its human resources and the main instrument in increasing the quality of human resources is education, Özer stated, "In 2000s, the picture of education was not very good. Schooling rate of five year old children was 11 percent and the schooling rate in secondary education was 44 percent. Net schooling rate in higher education was only 14 percent. In other words, the schooling rate in all levels of education except primary education was below 50 percent. We know that OECD countries increased their schooling rate in all levels of education to 90 percent in the 1950s and 1960s. As a result of an education campaign carried out under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the last 20 years, schooling rate in preschool education increased from 11 percent to 98 percent, schooling rate in high school education increased from 44 percent to 95 percent, schooling rate in primary education exceeded 99 percent. In the last 20 years, schooling rates in all levels of education exceeded 95 percent for the first time in the history of the Republic."
Özer stressed in addition to the increase in the schooling rates, the Ministry of National Education lifted antidemocratic practices such as the headscarf ban and coefficient practices and implemented social policies in line with the democratic demands of the society.
Steps for economically disadvantaged children
Reminding that the Ministry has been giving conditional aid to economically disadvantaged children for 19 years adding that, "We provide mobile teaching; we serve free meals to one and a half millions students. We implement many social policies such as dormitories and scholarship programs in order to reinforce equal opportunities in education during this period."
Özer thanked President Erdoğan, the architect of these developments who always allocated the largest share of the budget to education.
Minister Özer noted that the first priority of the Ministry is the reinforcement of equal opportunities in education and their first step was to disseminate preschool education.
Özer went on to say that, "Preschool education is the source of success differences between schools and students. In the 2000s, the schooling rate of five year old children was 11 percent, in other words, 89 percent of these children did have access to preschool education. In August 2021, there were 2,782 kindergartens in the entire country. We designed a project with the support of Emine Erdoğan in order to inaugurate 3,000 kindergartens. Our goal was to increase schooling rates of three and four year old children to the highest level possible and increase the schooling rate of five year old children to 100 percent. Within a year, we have inaugurated 2,321 kindergartens and 16,100 preschool classrooms. As a result, the schooling rate of three year old children increased from 9 percent to 19 percent, schooling rate of four year old children increased from 16 percent to 37 percent and schooling rate of five year old children increased from 65 percent to 98 percent."
"Our President shared the results of our efforts in vocational education with the entire country"
Özer stressed that a second crucial touch was experienced in vocational education and reminded that they have lifted the coefficient practice which was the biggest barrier in the development of Türkiye.
Özer went on to say that, "Yesterday, our President shared the results of our efforts in vocational education with the public after the cabinet meeting. There are two channels in vocational education; vocational high schools and vocational education centers. We have included the private sector in the vocational high school campaign and updated the school program with them. We also designed the on the job and professional development training programs for vocational high school teachers in cooperation with the real sector. We also encourage them to prioritize vocational high school graduates in employment. We also increase the production capacity of vocational high schools. Production capacity of these schools increased from 200 million liras to 1 billion and 650 million liras in the first ten months of 2022 although our goal was 1.5 million liras. We distributed 80 million liras to students and 180 million liras to teachers. Vocational high school students are involved in research and development activities and focus on intellectual and industrial property rights in R&D centers at their schools. They compete with each other and export their products."
Özer stressed the most crucial campaign was carried out in vocational education centers adding that, "Students go to school once a week and receive skill training at a real work environment for four days a week. These centers are similar to traditional 'Ahi' culture. We amended the Vocational Education Law on December 25, 2021 and the number of apprentices and foremen increased from 159 thousand to 1 million and 100 thousand."
Özer noted that Türkiye's success drew the attention of the international community and Türkiye shared its experience in vocational education with all OECD countries during a Vocational Education Summit organized in cooperation with the Ministry and the OECD.
"We have achieved all 2022 goals before the end of the year"
Özer stated that the third important step of his Ministry was the professional development training programs for teachers and they displayed two different approaches.
"First of all, we focused on multi-dimensional support for personal and professional development training programs for teachers because we know that our education system will be stronger as much as we support development programs for teachers."
The Ministry adapted school based training programs, in other words, the Ministry allocated the required budget and schools decided what kind of training programs they would organize.
"In 2020, the training program per teacher was 44 hours. In 2021, this figure reached 94 hours and the goal for 2022 was 120 hours. Till now, it has reached 205 hours. We have achieved every goal we set for 2022 before the end of the year."
Concerning Teacher Profession Law, Minister Özer noted that President Erdoğan has supported the Ministry during the adaptation of the law which is the first law dedicated to one profession.
"Trolls tried to manipulate the process but 95 percent of the teachers who are qualified to enter head and expert teacher positions applied to the exam and 99 percent of these teachers completed training programs and entered the exams. On November 24, our President announced the results of the exams and 97 percent of those who entered the exams became head or expert teachers. In the 2000s, there were 500 thousand teachers in our country and now there are 1.2 million teachers. Distinguished teachers will join forces with school administrators in order to work day and night for raising children who has the Türkiye's Century vision," said Özer.