MINISTER ÖZER MET PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORSMinister of National Education Mahmut Özer got together with primary and secondary school administrators as a part of the Culture, History and Civilization Awareness Seminar.
500 primary and secondary school administrators from 81 cities of the country attended the 5th Culture, History and Civilization Awareness Seminar in İstanbul organized by the Ministry of National Education.
The Minister of National Education expressed his happiness to see the success of seminars and his wish to introduce renowned names of the cultural, artistic and science world to school administrators during his keynote speech.
"Till now, we got together with 3,000 school administrators as a part of these seminars and received important feedback from administrators. We will be able to carry our education system to a higher level if we continue to negotiate and enhance our unity and integrity," said Özer.
Stressing that the country witnessed an important transformation in education in the last 20 years, Minister Özer went on to say that, "Most permanent capital of a country is its human resources and the only instrument to increase the quality of human resources is education. Due to this reason, we are allocating the largest share of our budget to increase schooling rates in all levels of education. OECD countries have taken important steps in increasing this rate to 100 percent in all levels and we were late to join this process. At the beginning of 2000s, the schooling rate of five year old children was 11 percent and this figure reached to 94 percent. Schooling rate in secondary education increased from 44 percent to 90 percent. Schooling rate in higher education which was 14 percent reached 44 percent. In other words, we reached the OECD average in schooling rates with a 50 year delay."
Özer reminded that all anti-democratic practices in education such as headscarf ban and coefficient practice were lifted in the last 20 years and the education system became more democratic after lifting these barriers.
"Most important success of this period is our success not to sacrifice quality despite the increasing number of students during the massification of education. Number of students in secondary education increased from 2.3 million to 6.5 million and the number of students in preschool education which was around 200-250 thousand reached almost 2 million. However, international student success surveys revealed that Türkiye gradually improved its grades. Number of students per classroom rate is higher than the beginning of the 2000s and the student per teacher figure improved. Number of teachers increased from 500 thousand to 1.2 million. Number of students per teacher decreased to 20 in all levels of education. The Ministry of National Education is receiving the largest share from the government budget and this year more than 300 billion was allocated to our Ministry," said Özer.
Minister Özer thanked President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his leadership and added that his Ministry prioritizes three issues namely preschool education, reinforcement of vocational education and professional and personal development training programs prepared for teachers.
We achieve to increase training program per teacher figures to highest level of our history
Stressing that his success requires a large budget, they have increased the budget from 8 million to 292 million and 210 million are used for schools.
"In 2020, the training program per teacher figure was 44 hours and it increased to 92 hours in 2021. Our goal for 2022 was to increase this figure to 120 hours and it reached 192 hours within nine month and reached the maximum level of the last 30- 40 years," Özer noted.
Özer mentioned that another milestone in training programs for teachers was the Teacher Professional Law which came into force on February 14, 2022 and this law defined the career system of teachers as head and expert teachers.
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 2005 for head and expert teacher positions.
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. 95 percent of teachers applied for the exam and 99 percent of them completed training programs.
For the first time, budget allocated to basic education schools
Reminding that for the first time, the Ministry allocated budgets directly to basic education schools for the new school year preparations, Özer went on to say that:
"As a part of preparations for the new school year, the Ministry allocated 3.9 billion liras to schools and schools already 2.5 billion liras and remaining 1 billion and 400 million liras are still in their bank accounts. We can increase the budget to four or five billion liras, if needed."
"We will introduce a new digital platform soon"
Özer announced that the Ministry will activate a new digital system soon as a part of their support mechanism.
The new support system will be actively used by students and teachers from 5th grade to 12th grade and include more than 50,000 example questions. Teachers will have the opportunity to monitor the academic development of their students through the new digital platform.
Noting that they have increased the schooling rate of five year old children from 78 percent to 94 percent within 10 months, Özer said, "When I was appointed as the Ministry, the number of kindergartens in Türkiye was 2,782. We will open 3,000 new kindergartens until the end of 2002 and this figure may be higher. We did this in order to increase the quality in the education, reinforce equal opportunities in education and provide quality education to all students. We are making important investments in an effort to decrease cognitive and academic and also psychological, social and emotional skill differences between students. I believe that our country will be more prosperous in the future as an outcome of these investments."