MINISTER ÖZER GOT TOGETHER WITH THE DEANS OF EDUCATION FACULTIESMinister Özer Had a Meeting with the Deans of Education Faculties as a part of the "Teacher's Professional Development Assessment Meeting".
Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer said during his speech at the Education Faculty Deans Council Meeting organized at the Mogan Vocational and Technical Anatolia High School Practice Hotel that such meetings are important as they gather people working in different branches of the same subject together.
Noting that the Ministry has adapted a similar approach in vocational education, Özer said, "We have learned from our experience in vocational education that including all stakeholders to the education process results in success and improvement. After our cooperation agreements with all representatives of the private sector for updating the education program of vocational education, planning on the job skill training programs of students and designing personal and professional development training programs of teachers, academically successful students started to prefer vocational education and we wrote many more success stories."
The Ministry of National Education is cooperating with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in fine arts high schools, with the Ministry of Youth and Sports in sports high schools and with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in high schools giving education about agriculture.
"We must involve in such cooperation with the distinguished deans and all academicians of education faculties in the development training programs of teachers who are the most important component of the education system," said Özer.
Minister Özer: We definitely need different views and common mind
Özer stated that they are planning to have meetings with the deans of education faculties every two months in order to make an assessment about education policy adding that, "We definitely need different views and common mind."
Stressing that the most important capital of Türkiye is its human resources, Özer noted that there has been a gradual increase in schooling rates in all levels of education since the 2000s, number of classrooms increased from 300 thousand to 850 thousand and number of teachers reached 1,2 billion during this period. He said that the majority of teachers are women.
Özer went on to say that anti-democratic and discriminatory policies such as coefficient practice and headscarf ban were lifted in the last 20 years and social policies were adapted along with massification during this period. He reminded that the Ministry initiated many new implementations such as education aid, dormitories, free textbooks, free transportation and free meals for students.
Reminding that 75 percent of existing teachers were appointed in the last 20 years, Özer also mentioned Türkiye's gradually increasing grades in international student success surveys in the last 20 years.
"In every PISA survey, our grades continue to improve despite the increasing number of countries that participate in this survey. Türkiye has been attending TIMSS surveys since 1999. In the last survey, 4th grade students in Türkiye achieved to score more than 500 points in mathematics and science for the first time in its history. This shows that we did not neglect quality despite the increasing number of students in the country," said Özer.
Minister Özer stressed that the Ministry of National Education is prioritizing social, psychological and emotional development of children enrolled in all levels of education adding that they have focused on the schooling rate of five year old children within this framework.
"Till now, we inaugurated 1,409 kindergartens in the last ten months and this figure is gradually increasing. Schooling rate among five year old children increased from 78 percent to 93 percent and our goal is to increase this number to 100 percent by the end of this year. We are aiming at inaugurating approximately 4,000 kindergartens. Due to this reason, we assigned the majority of newly appointed teachers to preschool education institutions," stated Özer.
"Key to all policies is our teachers"
"Key to all policies of our Ministry is teachers. If we fail to support our teachers, it will not be possible for us to succeed in our goal to decrease opportunity differences between schools and to reinforce equal opportunity in education," stressed Özer.
He noted that the Ministry considered the demand of teachers and organized on the job training programs adding that, "budget allocated to training programs for teachers was 8.9 million liras in 2021. This year's budget is 292 million liras and we already allocated 210 million liras to schools for training programs. We are aiming at increasing the budget allocated to teacher training programs to 500 million in 2023."
Solution of budget problems in schools is a silent revolution
Noting that his Ministry has taken concrete steps in order to solve problems and it allocated budgets directly to schools as a part of new school year preparations, Özer said that the Ministry allocated 1 billion liras to schools in İstanbul and total of 3,1 billion liras to schools in the entire country for cleaning materials, stationary purchases, minor repairs and laboratory devices.
"As of today, schools used 1 billion liras for preparations. Remaining 2,1 billion liras are in the accounts of schools. It is actually a silent revolution. It is a very important step. As long as we fail to provide a healthy school environment, there is no point in implementing new projects," stated Özer.
Concerning the Teaching Professional Law which came into effect on February 14, 2022, Özer stated that there is no quota in expert and head teaching positions and teachers are not competing against each other but they compete with themselves.
"We built a mechanism that encourages teachers to improve their skills and attend professional development training programs. Majority of teachers have completed these training programs. We organized these exams but they are not held to assess the sufficiency of teachers. On the contrary, it is a system that assesses the education programs. Actually, our final goal is to encourage our teachers to attend masters and doctorate programs," said Özer.
Cooperation with education faculties for master degree programs of teachers
Özer mentioned the importance of cooperation with education faculties for master degree programs and professional development training programs of teachers and stated that his Ministry will cooperate with education faculties in four areas. The Ministry of National Education and Education Faculties will arrange education contents of professional development training programs together, they will share data for providing teachers the opportunity to complete their masters programs and organize masters programs for teachers and plan school based training programs together.