MINISTER TEKİN MEETS WITH THE REPRESENTATIVES OF MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS IN ANKARAMeeting with the representatives of media organizations at Başkent Teacher's House, Minister of National Education Yusuf Tekin made statements regarding the education agenda and answered the journalists' questions.
Making evaluations on the education agenda, Minister of National Education Yusuf Tekin stated that the Ministry addressed the whole society with 20 million students and 1.2 million teachers working in approximately 74 thousand public and private schools.
Noting that they work day and night to equip students with the skills required by the age by bringing them together with the values of national culture and civilization, Minister Tekin stated that they aim to build a multidimensional education climate in a period where communication, technology and different information resources are so central to life.
"We care about building solid bridges between the past, present and the future"
Reminding the saying of sociologist, philosopher, writer and teacher Nurettin Topçu; "The salvation of a generation should only be sought in the rise of its education." Minister Tekin underlined that as the Ministry of National Education, raising highly motivated, self-confident, curious, inquiring, analytical, virtuous, compassionate young people is their top priority. Emphasizing that they care about managing a process that targets new horizons and building solid bridges between the past, present and the future in every field while strengthening their ties with their roots, Minister Tekin said that this solidity will increase the quality of education. Stressing that Türkiye is a great country with its values, backgrounds, goals and the vision of the Century of Türkiye, Tekin stated that the teachers they entrust the children will bring the country to this goal and are the most basic building blocks of the education system and the architects of the future.
Reminding that they started to meet with teachers within the scope of "Teachers' Room Meetings" after he took the Ministerial office, Minister Tekin emphasized that they attach great importance to increasing the consultation with teachers.
Minister Tekin noted that by getting information from the field, they implemented the regulations on many issues such as updating the course schedules, expanding the elective course options, meeting the needs related to private education institutions, the right to relocate of teachers in the earthquake area, providing additional quota in LGS for earthquake-affected students, the demand of teachers' houses regarding accommodation, obligatory service amnesty and the difficulties-obstacles experienced in the relocation process.
"We have taken measures to smoothly start the academic year"
Stating that they have done extensive work on teachers, students and schools in the earthquake area and established a communication network, Tekin said that all of the 192 thousand teachers currently working and newly appointed are called by phone and their needs for accommodation and other demands are met.
Expressing that there are approximately 11 thousand classrooms in the region that were collapsed or unusable, Minister Tekin stated that they built classrooms or schools with steel structures that could be built in approximately 60 days upon the instruction of the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Underlining that these steel structures can be built faster and have a long service life as reinforced concrete buildings, Minister Tekin announced that they will build around 400 classrooms with steel structures and start education in these buildings as of September 1. Explaining that they are planning to build nearly 4 thousand additional steel structures in total, Minister Tekin said that they plan some of these structures to be completed as of February and next September. Minister Tekin emphasized that as of September 1, they will have taken measures to start the academic year without any problems.
Yusuf Tekin announced that the repair of approximately 45 thousand classrooms that can be used has been completed.
Compulsory makeup program for students in the earthquake zone
Stating that they organize optional make-up programs in the summer months in order to compensate for the learning losses of the students in the earthquake area, Tekin said that they offered students the opportunity to make up for their losses. Tekin noted that there is an intense participation in these optional make-up programs. Minister Tekin said that as of September 11, they will start a new education program for students in all 11 provinces in the region, which will be compulsory for students to attend for about 4 weeks.
Reminding that they made positive discrimination for earthquake survivors within the scope of LGS placements, Minister Tekin said that they opened quotas for earthquake survivors in schools all over Türkiye. Minister Tekin stated that they allocate the vacant capacities of the boarding schools for the students in the region who want to go to other provinces.
Noting that the regulation allowing the transportation only within the boundaries of the municipality has been expanded so that the earthquake victims do not have problems in accessing education and the schools they are registered to, Minister Tekin said that they continue the process for earthquake victims to benefit from private education institutions for 1 year free of charge
Minister Tekin said that private schools will also support them to the extent of their available quotas if requested.
Explaining the improvement efforts of the teachers to solve the problems they conveyed to the Ministry, Tekin said that they made important arrangements regarding the relocation process.
Announcing that they will share their work on some subjects such as supplementary resources and elective courses with the public in the near future, Minister Tekin said that the legislative amendment regarding the problems related to school drop outs will be made before the start of the new academic year.
Expressing that teachers in secondary education institutions have expressed the problems caused by the absence of grade repetition, especially in high schools, Minister Tekin said that they will take precautions regarding this issue and that grade repetition will be possible in the new academic year.
"We will take a series of measures regarding the transition to open high school"
Stating that there were shifts to open high schools in the process that started with the pandemic and continued with the earthquake becoming widespread especially among secondary school students who passed from the 11th to the 12th grade, Minister Tekin announced that they would take measures by making legislative changes with this regard. Stating that they do not support a student of formal education age to go to non-formal education institutions, Minister Tekin underlined that they will struggle with structures that claim to provide under-the-counter education by making it difficult for students from 11th to 12th grade to access and transfer to open high schools.
Underlining that they will make the transitions to open high schools difficult, Tekin noted that they plan to revert the open high school exams which were held electronically during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We are very serious about absenteeism and grade repetition"
Stressing that students should not expect amnesty or similar expectations at the end of the new academic year regarding absenteeism, Minister Tekin emphasized that they are very serious about absenteeism and grade repetition.
Announcing that they created a serious activity calendar as the Ministry for the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye, Minister Tekin said that they sent a circular letter to the provinces in this context.
Emphasizing that one of the issues they attach importance to in the new period is the teacher training processes, Minister Tekin stated that they want to revise this from top to bottom.
Service and meal fees of private schools
Noting that private schools are holding talks with associations on issues such as service and meal fees, Minister Tekin said that after introducing the WPI-CPI principle regarding fees, private schools and associations are committed to doing it at a reasonable level in matters related to service and food needs. Stating that they will inspect these schools and associations, Minister Tekin underlined that there are punishment mechanisms against private schools that want to go out of control and do not comply with their commitments and regulations. Tekin noted that they can impose administrative penalties on these institutions.
Minister Tekin stated that vocational high schools will be expanded as structures that serve their purpose, where their graduates are employed in their own fields.
Emphasizing that the necessary actions continue to be taken regarding the schools that have been decided to be demolished or strengthened both in the earthquake zone and in other regions, Tekin said that there is a difficulty in finding land to build a new school in Istanbul. The Minister noted that the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change provides support in this regard.
Yusuf Tekin stated that he closely follows the wages of teachers working in private schools. Stating that legally it is not possible to set a base salary for teachers working in private schools, Tekin noted that some of the private schools have problems with the wage policy and they do their best to solve these problems.
"There will of course be a new teacher appointment"
Expressing that, as the Minister of National Education, he would very much like to increase the number of teachers working within the Ministry, Tekin warned that making a statement that implies "appointing all teachers who could not be appointed" is playing with their future.
Noting that as the Ministry, they constantly talk with the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Minister Tekin underlined that nearly 80 percent of the teachers were appointed during the Presidency or Prime Ministry of Erdoğan. Stating that the appointment of new teachers will undoubtedly be made, Minister Tekin said that they will continue to strive to employ as many teachers as possible.
Teaching Profession Law
Reminding that the Constitutional Court has decided to annul some articles of the "Teaching Profession Law", Tekin said that they will act accordingly when the reasoned decision reaches to the Ministry.
Minister Tekin stated that the Teaching Profession Law can be handled more comprehensively in line with the demands of teachers.
Minister Tekin said that private education courses were planned as structures that will provide course-based institutional services after the decision of the Constitutional Court in the process of closing the private teaching institutions.
Noting that they enabled teachers from the Ministry of National Education to enter the question preparation team of Student Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM) for the university exam, Minister Tekin said that they made schools and books functional as a part of the struggle for private classrooms. Stressing that the Ministry wanted to eliminate the need for private teaching institutions by taking the necessary measures, the Minister said that he believed there are operational measures that the Ministry should take within itself, rather than legal or procedural measures related to these structures.