Deputy Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer commented about the six months old 1000 Schools in Vocational Education Project during a newspaper interview.

The number of students enrolled in vocational education institutions is gradually increasing. The Ministry of National Education is aiming at disseminating this improvement observed in vocational education to all 3 thousand and 574 vocational schools throughout country. Within this framework, the Ministry has set the target of 1000 vocational schools which are relatively more disadvantaged according to some parameters and initiated the "1000 Schools in Vocational Education" project at the end of 2020 that includes making investments in many fields varying from teachers to students and from their physical infrastructure to enrichment of the school environment. 500 million TL is allocated to these schools as a part of the project. The Ministry aims at increasing the quality of education in vocational schools and eliminating the success differences among different types of schools.
Here are some questions and answers from the interview:
The project was initiated approximately six months ago. Can you tell us about the steps you have taken during this period?
There is distance education due to Covid-19. Due to this reason, we have intensified our efforts to the improvement of the psychical environment of schools. First of all, we have completed the minor and major repairs at the school buildings. We have allocated 50 million TL for this purpose in 2020. In 2021, we have allocated 250 million TL for the reinforcement of school buildings.
What did you plan for the enrichment of schools environment of the selected 1000 schools?
First, we have founded libraries in all 1000 schools. Later, we improved the infrastructures of the physics, chemistry and biology labs. 485 of the selected schools did not have any labs. We founded 50 labs within a short period of time. We are planning to build labs for the remaining schools until the end of May. Our goal is to establish 1000 libraries and 1000 physics, chemistry and biology labs until the end of May.
Can you tell us about your activities concerning the reinforcement of vocational workshops and lab infrastructure?
We planned to update existing workshops and labs and build new ones in the entire selected schools as a part of the project. In the first five months of the project, we improved the infrastructure of existing workshops and labs. We built new ones. Until now, we have spent 200 million TL within this framework. On the other hand, we have taken two important steps. Vocational schools started to produce their own experiment sets. We will use these sets in the 1000 vocational schools.
The second step was to take the workshop inventory of vocational schools in the entire country. Workshops and experiments sets which are not in use are sent to schools which need these devices.
This is very important. This approach will allow you to use resources in the most productive way.
Yes, we use idle experiment sets and fulfill the demand for sets without paying any money. This is how we improve the school environment without making any investment.
Professional improvement training programs for 222 thousand and 848 teachers are important for the success of the Project. What are you going to tell us about the importance of raising awareness of the school administrators and teachers regarding the project?
Raising project awareness of school administrators and teachers working in these 1000 schools are among the top priorities. Within this framework, we have organized 4 thousand and 349 training programs and total of 90 thousand and 958 administrators and teachers have participated in these programs till now. We also organized 1811 personal improvement and leadership training programs which were participated by 9 thousand and 224 administrators.  Directorate General for Measurement, Assessment and Examination Services gave measurement and assessment training programs to 7 thousand and 500 teachers. Moreover, Science and Arts Centers (BİLSEM) affiliated to the Directorate General for Special Education and Guidance Services organized intellectual and industrial property rights training programs for 40 thousand and 166 teachers. As a part of the project, 15 thousand teachers received first aid awareness training. In other words, teachers working in the selected 1000 schools attended at least 3 different professional improvement training programs. Training activities continue as planned.
Does distance education cause any shortcomings in your plans concerning the project?
Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic affected our project like it affected everything. Approximately 600 thousand students are receiving education in the selected schools. We have been experiencing some shortcomings but we try to support our students through distance education platforms.  Directorate General for Measurement, Assessment and Examination Services prepared additional education programs for these students. On the other hand, Directorate General for Support Services organized first aid awareness training program for 34 thousand and 404 students. We also supported the social skills of students. We organized psychosocial improvement programs for the students of the selected 1000 schools.
The project included training support to parents as a part of lifelong training activities.
We organized public training programs for parents according to their demand as a part of the project. We reach out to parents and encourage them to enroll in open secondary and high schools.

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