"COOPERATION PROTOCOL FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION" WITH THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISMThe Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism signed a cooperation protocol for the improvement of vocational and technical education. The protocol aims at making contribution to employment by responding to the qualified labor force required in the tourism sector.
The cooperation protocol for the improvement of vocational and technical education was signed between the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism during a ceremony organized in the Atatürk Culture Center. Minister of National Education
Mahmut Özer, Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, İstanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya, Provincial Director of National Education Levent Yazıcı, İstanbul Provincial Director of Culture and Tourism Coşkun Yılmaz and members of Turkish Hoteliers Union and Federation were present at the ceremony.
Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer said during his speech at the ceremony that reinforcement of vocational education was among the prior issues of his ministry and vocational education recently recovered, got better and looks to the future with hope.
Noting that paradigm shift was among the most crucial steps in the improvement of vocational education, Özer went on to say that, "We ask sector representatives to join forces with us to update the vocational education curriculum and plan skill training and internship programs for students in the workplaces. We requested their support to design on the job and professional improvement training programs that allow our teachers to update their knowledge and help them to keep up with changing technologies. We called them to give scholarships to successful students and give priority in employment. These were important for the reinforcement of education, production and employment cycle."
Özer stressed that his Ministry has taken its first and most important step in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and amended the curriculum of tourism vocational high schools according to the demands of sector representatives. Obligatory 3 foreign language classes were among the first items in the list of demands.
Minister Özer mentioned that 9th grade students started to get salaries within the framework of subcontracts signed with hotels under the coordination of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture adding that this was an important milestone in the improvement of vocational education as it allows students to earn money and get employed.
Özer stated that the recent protocol with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture was the second step of their cooperation in vocational education.
"Students go to school only one day of the week and they receive business and skill training programs during the rest of the week. So, they receive their on the job training directly from the sector representatives. Pursuant to law on vocational training no. 3308, students get a salary equivalent to one third of minimum wage during their 4 yearlong training. They are insured against workplace accidents and occupational illnesses," stated Minister Özer.
Noting that the employment rate of vocational and technical high school graduates is above 50 percent, Minister Özer said: "Employment rate of vocational education center graduates is almost 88 percent. This high rate is achieved as we coordinate their education in cooperation with the private sector. Sector representatives employ the student that gave training for four years and closely monitored his professional improvement. In other words, three third of graduates are employed at workplaces where they received their on the job training programs. Today, we disseminate this model to the tourism sector and the protocol we signed with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture will allow us to start pilot implementation in İstanbul. There will no longer be separate buildings for education for tourism students. We established vocational training centers inside hotels. We will also focus on foreign language classes."
Meanwhile, Minister of Culture and Tourism Nuri Ersoy noted that both ministries have been working in an effort to coordinate education system in the light of recent developments in the tourism sector and finally these efforts resulted in the cooperation protocol adding that, "Both ministries worked in order to respond the need of qualified labor force required in the tourism sector and make contribution to improve employment rates."
"Today Turkey is country that offers diversity in tourism"
Stressing that Turkey is gradually improving its tourism potential, Minister Ersoy said, "Today, Turkey does not only catch the attention of tourism with its beaches, it also offers diversity in tourism with its rich culture, ancient historical sites and being a cradle of civilizations. As one a few countries which implemented a safe tourism program in the midst of a global crisis environment and pandemic conditions, we continue to keep our tourism sector alive. Our program which was among the first of its kind in the world was so successful that many countries followed in our footsteps."
Mehmet Nuri Ersoy stressed that there is a close relation between the effective management of existing tourism potential and correct use of human resources and said: "The protocol we signed today is an important step for both tourism and education plans. We will start the first implementation of this protocol in İstanbul and then spread to other regions with tourism potential."
"We also plan to include on the job training programs for school administrators, teachers and sector representatives to the protocol. Moreover, increasing the employment rate of vocational high school students is the main purpose of the protocol. This protocol does not bring any age barrier for students and anyone regardless of their age can enroll in vocational training courses provided by the Ministry of National Education," he stated.
Minister Ersoy reminded that the amended curriculum regulated that three foreign language courses will be obligatory for tourism vocational high school students.
"English and Russian are obligatory courses in these schools. Students will have the opportunity to prefer French, Chinese, Arabic and Germany as their elective foreign language class," Ersoy added.