Minister Mahmut Özer Got Together with School Principals and Teachers Working in Kayseri as a part of 2022-2023 School Year Assessment Meeting.

Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer thanked teachers and school principals for their sacrifice in adamantly keeping schools open during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021-2022 school year during his speech at the meeting organized in the Erciyes Culture Center.
Noting that they have increased the education investment budget during the provincial education assessment meeting, Özer said that they will continue to support Kayseri.
"The last one and a half years revealed that schools are the places where our children improve not only their academic skills but also their complete psychological, social and emotional development, they receive peer training and are involved in cultural, artistic and sportive activities. Due to this reason, we must not only overcome learning loss but also losses in the psychological, emotional and social developments," Özer stated.
Özer said that sacrifice of teachers and school administrators in face-to-face education helped Türkiye to rapidly normalize conditions after the Covid-19 and the Ministry decorated teachers and school administrators with certificates of achievements.
Noting that they have started preparations for 2022-2023 school years soon after the end of the last school year on June 17, Özer had meetings with more than 4 thousand school administrators in İstanbul.
Minister Özer reminded that the Ministry distributed 153 million free text books and 140 million free supplementary sources at the beginning of the new school year and they will also distribute additional 20 million supplementary sources within this month.
1 billion and 600 million liras is still at the accounts of schools
Özer said that the Ministry hired 60 thousand cleaning personnel before the beginning of the new school year and it also allocated 4.5 billion liras directly to schools for new school year preparations. Schools still have 1 billion and 600 million liras at their bank accounts. The Ministry has the largest budget with 300 billion liras.
Özer noted that the Ministry has been making important investments in order to increase schooling rates in all levels of education to 100 percent and finally reached OECD average as a result of investments made in the last 20 years.
"In the last 20 years, the schooling rate increased from 11 percent to 94 percent.  Schooling rate in secondary education is 95 percent and it is 48 percent in higher education. Schooling rate in primary schools is 99,63 percent, in other words, it is 100 percent. Schooling rate in secondary schools is 99,44 percent and it is 95,06 percent in high schools."
Minister Özer stressed that the schooling rate of female students exceeded the schooling rate of male students for the first time in the history of the country and it increased from 39,02 percent to 94,66 percent.  
Özer said that there are 111 thousand and 739 thousand female students are enrolled in open high schools although some circles claim that this figure is 636 thousand.
Concerning claims that the total number of unschooled female students in primary, secondary and high schools is 886 thousand, Özer stressed that the total number  of unschooled male and female students in primary, secondary and high schools is 298 thousand.
"They claim that there are 8.3 million students enrolled in primary, secondary and high schools. We checked our records, total number of students enrolled in primary, secondary and high schools is 15 million 65 thousand and 189. Those who made these claims are the ones who imposed antidemocratic practices in education before the 2000s," said Özer.
"For the moment, we have 19 million and 100 students in our education system"
Reminding that important investments were made in education in the last 20 years, Özer noted that schooling rates increased and antidemocratic practices such as headscarf ban and coefficient practice were lifted during this period. Özer stated that Türkiye gradually improved its grades in the international student success surveys such as PISA and TIMMS and went on to say that:
"There were 200 thousand students in preschool education and now there are 2 million students. There were 2.3 million students in high schools and this figure recently reached 6,5 million students. At the moment, we have 19 million and 100 students in our education system. Student per classroom figures were around 40 -50s at the beginning of 2000s, today this rate decreased to 20s. There are less than 25 students in 56 percent of the total of 850,000 classrooms. Number of teachers increased from 500 thousand to 1.2 million. 750 thousand of these teachers were appointed in the last 19 year. The OECD General Secretary said that our improvements are an inspiration for other countries."
Özer mentioned that his Ministry has three main priorities namely increasing school rates in preschool education, reinforcing vocational education and supporting personal and professional development training programs for teachers.
"When I was named as the Minister of National Education, the number of kindergartens in the country was 2 thousand and 782 and the schooling rate of three year old children was 35 percent while schooling rate of five year old children was 78 percent. With the support of Emine Erdoğan, we implemented a project in order to inaugurate 3,000 new kindergartens," said Özer.
As a part of the project, the Ministry inaugurated 1,800 kindergartens and 14 thousand 80 preschool classes within ten months and schooling rate in five year old children age group increased from 78 percent to 94 percent during this period.
"It is a revolution. We will inaugurate not only 3,000 kindergartens but 4,000. A year ago, there were 147 state kindergartens and 1,538 private kindergartens in İstanbul. It is known that people who attended preschool education adapted both cognitive and non-cognitive skills and have a lower crime rate in the future. Türkiye will reach OECD average in preschool schooling rate until the end of 2022," stated Özer.   
Number of apprentices and foremen reached 857 thousand in Türkiye
Concerning vocational education, Özer reminded that they have increased the production capacity of R&D centers in vocational education and academically successful students started to prefer to enroll in vocational high schools.
Özer said that vocational education centers are the equivalent to vocational education in Germany and the number of apprentices and foremen enrolled in these centers increased from 159 thousand to 857 thousand after the amendment in the related law.
Professional development of school administrators and teachers
Reminding that a society is as strong as its teachers, Özer mentioned about training program support methods of his Ministry.
The Ministry allocated 290 million liras for the training programs for teachers while this figure was 8.9 million liras in 2020. 210 million liras are sent to schools for designing school based professional development training programs for teachers. Schools spent 6.5 million liras till now.
In 2020, the training program per teacher was 44 hours. In 2021, it increased to 92 hours in 2021. Goal is to reach 120 hours in 2022 and the training program per teacher figure has increased to 192 currently.
There were no law designed for teachers in this country
Özer mentioned that newly passed Teacher Professional Law was a 60 year long longing and it is just a beginning.
Özer stressed that the career system stipulated by the newly passed Teacher Profession Law was not a new concept in the education system and the new only lifted the quota which was imposed in 2004 for head and expert teacher positions. Expert teacher candidates have to attend 180 hours and head teacher candidates must complete 240 hours training programs.
Noting that the head and expert teacher exams will not measure the efficiency of teachers and it will make assessment about their training programs, Özer stated that 614 thousand teachers have applied to enter the exam and all can become expert or head teacher if they succeeded in the exam. All teachers applied for the exam and 99 percent of them completed training programs.

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