MINISTER ÖZER MADE COMMENTS ABOUT EDUCATION AGENDA DURING A LIVE PROGRAM AT CNN TÜRKMinister of National Education Mahmut Özer made comments about the education agenda in the Weekend Live news program hosted by Hakan Çelik at CNN Türk.
Here are the highlights of Minister Özer's comments:
We work in an effort to provide quality of education to our human resources and massify education while we also include mechanisms in our education system that will reinforce our production capacity by using innovative approaches.
Face-to-face education completed without any interruption
We have completed face-to-face education without any interruption during the 2021- 2022 school year. After a one and half year break, teachers and other stakeholders obeyed health and hygiene rules. We are happy to complete the school year with success on June 17. During the pandemic, the whole world and Türkiye realized that schools are not only designed for education. We saw that schools are essential for psychosocial development of children and they are the places where they are involved in cultural and artistic activities. Heroes of this period were the teachers. As the Minister of National Education, I honored them with certificates of achievement for their sacrificed services. We have a large education system that includes 18,9 million students and 1,2 million teachers. It is not possible to normalize life in the country unless we normalize the education system.
We will not leave our students alone during the summer. We will open four different types of summer courses. For the first time, the Arts and Science Centers will be open for all students throughout the summer. Our students from 2nd grade to 12th grade will have the opportunity to attend any of free summer courses in these centers. We provided flexibility for students who are on a summer holiday in another city; they can enroll in summer courses in the cities they visit. This is valid for teachers, too.
Applications for mathematics and English courses ended. We have initiated a mathematics campaign in order to show that mathematics is an essential part of daily life.
We also amended the regulation concerning kindergartens. We dropped the quota for opening preschool classrooms in villages from 10 students to 5 students. This small step allowed us the opportunity to open 1,800 preschool classrooms in villages and approximately 12,000 children enrolled in these classrooms.
Public education centers for people with disabilities
Inclusive education is a method widely used in the entire world for the education of disabled students. Our focus in the education of children with special needs is to allow them to get education with their peers and provide them the opportunity to socialize. There were no education institutions where adults with disabilities can get education. We have received the support of Emine Erdoğan and founded public education centers for people with disabilities in Ankara, İstanbul and İzmir.
Important decisions and campaigns of our Ministry have lifted the barriers preventing our people of all ages from receiving education. We are at a better level than many European countries in terms of special education. Another important campaign of our Ministry was about vocational education. We made cooperation agreements with the private sector in different fields of vocational education. We include them in the education process. Today, students who enroll in vocational education get education, are involved in the production process and earn money.
Our goal is to enroll 1 million students in vocational education institutions until the end of 2022. We achieved two important developments in vocational education; we responded to the qualified workforce of the labor market and decreased young unemployment rates in our country.
We have founded sales offices in front of all agriculture vocational high schools. Our people will have the opportunity to buy their products with reasonable prices.
Commercialization of registered products of vocational high schools
Production capacity of vocational education increased from 200 million liras to 1 billion and 162 million liras in 2021. Students received around 50 million lira share from the income of the schools. Today, vocational high schools are exporting their registered products. They were registering approximately 3 intellectual rights property every year. In 2022, they registered 7 thousand and 200 products and 74 of these products were commercialized.
For the first time in the history of vocational education in our country, a vocational high school in İstanbul started to export its products. They produced paper towels and a machine that produces paper towels. We will respond to the paper towel needs of our schools from their production in the 2022-2023 school year.
We have no problems concerning technological services but we have to manage the use of technology. Technology addiction problems emerged during the pandemic. It is not possible to say no to technology but we have to use it rationally.
Donations will not be collected during registration
It is claimed that the Ministry of National Education cannot respond to the needs of schools so they collect donations. As the Minister of National Education, I can firmly say that we have the budget, power and will to respond to all kinds of needs of schools. We have started the preparations for the new school in İstanbul yesterday. We have allocated 1 billion lira budget to İstanbul for the preparations; 500 million liras will be spend for cleaning materials and stationery requirements of schools in the city, while 250 million liras will be used for minor repairs and remaining 250 million liras will be spent for equipment and fixtures. Parent-teacher associations are our stakeholders; they can voluntarily collect donations but donations cannot be obligatory and they will not be collected during the registration.
There are 1,2 million teachers in our education system. We have appointed teachers every year. We will make new teacher appointments in the first week of September and 50 percent of yearly appointed teachers will be assigned in İstanbul.