LOVE FOR SPORTS HAS NO BARRIERS"Love for Sports Has No Barriers" distribution of sports equipment to Special Education Schools ceremony was held in Beştepe Nation Congress and Culture Center with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vice President Fuat Oktay, Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer, Minister of Youth and Sports Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu, Minister of Family and Social Services Derya Yanık and young athletes.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during this speech at the ceremony that people with disabilities became an example for all people with their success and determination and noted that disabled athletes won international success in different sport branches.
"I would like to thank all of our athletes on behalf of our country. Regardless of race, belief, culture and social status, every single person in this country is equal. No one will be discriminated against because of its features and no one could alienate people with disabilities from social life and we can never neglect them. Each and every person in the country is considered a first class citizen," said President Erdoğan.
27,259 sports equipment to 500 special education schools located in 81 cities of the country
President Erdoğan stated that 27,259 sports equipment produced for the use of people who have different disabilities are sent to 500 special education schools located in 81 cities of the country and the "Love For Sports Have No Barriers" project is another important step in maintaining equal opportunity in education.
"Scientific studies reveal that sports activities have a positive impact on the physical and psychological wellness of people with disabilities. For many years, these people were neglected and became the victim of biased beliefs in the country. Unfortunately, previous governments lack the will, vision and sensitivity to encourage people with disabilities to be involved in social life, solve their problems and provide required opportunities. In the last 20 years, we have totally changed this approach," said President Erdoğan.
Noting that his governments had taken historical steps varying from education to care of disabled people and from their employment to elimination of discrimination by passing the Law on Disabled People in 2005, President Erdoğan reminded that positive discrimination for disabled people is guaranteed by the Constitution with an amendment passed in 2010.
"We will never leave you alone"
President Erdoğan said that they have provided special opportunities for disable people such as home care support, home care aid, special recreation centers and transportation opportunities.
"Total of 435,000 children who need special education are getting education in the entire country. Number of students with disabilities enrolled in special education classes reached
77,600. 993 disabled students are getting their education at hospitals and 10,552 of them are home schooled with the help of our teachers. We will never leave you alone, we are determined to do what is needed," said Erdoğan.
"Disabled people have a say in sports, arts, academic life and politics"
Noting that they have founded coordination centers for disabled students in all universities of the country, Erdoğan said that disabled people have a say in sports, arts, academic life and politics.
"Today, disabled people are not neglected in any field of life. They have shown us what they can achieve when they are supported. Today, our disabled athletes are almost making history in different sports branches. In 2000, only one disabled athlete competed in the Sydney Paralympic Games. 20 years later, 87 athletes competed in the Tokyo Paralympic Games and won 2 gold, 4 silver and 9 bronze medals," said President Erdoğan.
"We continue to increase the budget allocated to sports federations of disabled persons every year"
Erdoğan said that they continue to increase the budget allocated to sports federations of disabled persons every year and they have allocated 70 million liras for 4 of these sports federations only this year.
"There has been an important improvement in our support for disabled athletes. Number of disabled athletes which was 2,763 in 2002 was increased to 45,441 in 2021," he added.
"All barriers preventing accession of all children to education are lifted"
Noting that the country witnessed an important transition in all levels of education in the last 20 years, Minister of National Education Türkiye achieved the success of OECD countries 70 years later.
Özer noted that the schooling rate reached 100 percent for the first time during this period, adding that, "All barriers preventing accession of all children to education were lifted. You have lifted the ban on female students who failed to enroll at schools due to headscarves. For the first time in the history of the country, the schooling rate among female students exceeded the schooling rate of male students."
Minister Özer reminded that regardless of their disabilities, children have access to education in special education schools and vocational schools.
"Approximately 453,000 special students are enrolled in education. Even if they cannot go to school due to their disabilities, our teachers visit them at home or at hospital to teach them. We will continue to cooperate with the Ministry of Youth and Sports in an effort to increase opportunities for special children not only in education but also in arts, culture and sports activities," Özer added.