MINISTER SELÇUK TALKS ABOUT TURKEY'S COVID-19 EXPERIENCE TO G20 COUNTRIES"Minister of National Education Ziya Selçuk shared which steps Turkey took in education during the pandemic with the Ministers of Education of the G20 countries"
Ministers of Education of G20 countries held a video conference meeting about the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Representatives from the OECD, UNESCO and the World Bank were also present at the meeting. Speaking at the video conference, Minister of National Education Ziya Selçuk began his speech by thanking the G20 Presidency for organizing a meeting about Covid-19 pandemic that deeply affected social life and education services. Pointing out that face to face education in all schools as well as universities was halted in Turkey in March in order to prevent the spread of the pandemic, Selçuk said, "Only a week after this decision, we started online teaching programs and distance education for basic education and secondary school students from three national television stations and on line education platforms in cooperation with the TRT."
Selçuk pointed out that every university established their own online teaching and distance education systems for higher education students. Emphasizing that Turkey managed to overcome the impact of the pandemic on education as it already had the online education platform, Minister Selçuk went on to say, "Our online education platform is rich as it includes thousands of teaching materials. It is safe; our teachers and students enter the system by using their own accounts. It is effective; teachers can follow the attendance of their students and give live lectures. It is dynamic; teachers can upload education videos and interactive teaching materials, give assignments and follow the participation of their students in activities.
Minister Selçuk stressed that distance education also motivates students adding that, "the platform gives grades to students according to their attendance and participation in activities. It is active; it ranked first in Turkey and ranked third in the world among most visited education websites with 2,9 billion clicks during the distance education process. It is comprehensive because teaching materials are compatible with cell phones. This is useful especially for families who have no or not enough number of computers at home."
Stating that Turkey has provided 8GB free data package for students every month, Minister Selçuk said that they also prepared hundreds of lesson videos for disabled students. Selçuk pointed that the importance of psychosocial support for students during the state of global emergency adding that, "Within this framework, approximately 10 million students used group guidance services and 109 thousand students applied for one to one guidance services during the distance education process."
"Cooperation between sectors is valuable during the pandemic process"
Reminding the importance of cooperation between sectors during pandemic process, Minister Selçuk stated, "For example, the Turkish education sector has produced face masks, face shields, medical overalls and disinfectants and supported health sector during our country's fight against the pandemic. Till today, vocational and technical high schools produced approximately 30 million masks. I would like to emphasize the importance of sharing our experience and good practice in order to learn from each other." Minister Selçuk said that the online learning opportunities and education system that will allow the country to be prepared for similar global crises will be more "resistant" and more "comprehensive" after the end of Covid-19 pandemic adding that countries should invest more for online teaching systems due to this reason.