"SPOTLESS FUTURE BEGINS AT SCHOOLS"The Ministry of National Education and OPET Petrolcülük Inc. signed a protocol about the new "Spotless Future Begins At Schools" campaign. Launch of the campaign which aims at encouraging students, parents, teachers and school administrations for focusing on hygiene and improving health conditions at schools was organized in Ankara with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's spouse Emine Erdoğan and the Minister of the National Education Mahmut Özer.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's spouse Emine Erdoğan congratulated the Ministry of National Education for designing new projects in order to reinforce the education system during her speech at the ceremony.
Emine Erdoğan noted that students are spending a great majority of their time at schools and they do not only learn from textbooks but also from the cultural atmosphere at schools.
"Schools play an important role in the establishment of basic health and hygiene behaviors. In addition to personal hygiene, schools teach good, home, environment and general hygiene rules. Due to this reason, schools are important stakeholders of modern hygiene and health codes," said Emine Erdoğan.
She stressed that Covid-19 pandemic once more revealed the importance of hygiene and it was the most important preventive measure during this big pandemic.
"Children interact with many people in the school environment and children are vulnerable to infections and contagious diseases. According to a scientific study, every year a significant number of children could not attend schools due to such illnesses and hand washing habits decreases absenteeism by 54 percent. Hygiene habits and awareness have a direct impact on academic success. Spotless Future Begins At School campaign was designed in the light of these facts," said Emine Erdoğan.
"Apart from being a part of daily routine, hygiene is a principle of life which is also the essence of our faith"
Emine Erdoğan said, "Apart from being a part of daily routine, hygiene is a principle of life which is also the essence of our faith. Hygiene has a direct relation with faith. It begins in our moral world and then reflects into the outer world. Our civilization and city culture is based on this mentality. This campaign will be an opportunity to transfer this culture to our children."
Erdoğan stated that teachers have important responsibility about this subject and raising hygiene awareness among children at an early age will provide them the opportunity to see the world from a different perspective.
Five projects within a year under the auspices of Emine Erdoğan
Meanwhile, Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer stated that his Ministry implemented five projects within a year under the auspices of Emine Erdoğan and first of these projects aimed at disseminating preschool education in the entire country.
Noting that they have decided to inaugurate 3,000 new kindergartens while there were only 2,782 kindergartens in the country, Özer reminded that they have set the duration of the project as one year.
"Thanks to Allah, we have inaugurated 2,050 kindergartens and 15,500 preschool classrooms within ten months. As a result, the schooling rate of five year old children which was 65 percent a year ago recently reached 97 percent. There has been a significant increase in the schooling rates of 3 and 4 year old children," said Özer.
Özer noted that they have founded 16,361 libraries within two months as a part of "No More Schools without Libraries" which was supported by Emine Erdoğan adding that the number of books at school libraries reached 103 million. The goal of the project was to increase the number of books at school libraries which was 28 million to 100 million.
Another project of the Ministry supported by Emine Erdoğan was the "Environmentally Friendly 1,000 Schools" project which was completed within three months. As a part of the project, rainwater collection units and zero waste libraries were founded at schools, compost machines were installed in selected 1,000 schools and training programs were organized.
Özer reminded that tens of thousands of women benefited from the "Where Were We?" project that encouraged people who dropped out from education due to various different reasons to go back to school. More than ten million people have applied to the project to go back to education and 65 percent of these people were women.
The Ministry has been implementing the "Family School Project" under the auspices of Emine Erdoğan since August 18, 2022 with the purpose of reinforcement of family, family values, cultural values, communication among family members and prevention of addictions. Özer noted that the goal of the project was to reach 1 million families and they already reached 460 thousand families.
"Today, we launch another important project with the support of Emine Erdoğan. This project is not limited to revise school restrooms; we will redesign them according to hygiene rules, environmentally friendly methods. The duration of the project will be six months and we will rebuild the restrooms of all 57,108 schools within this period," said Özer.
Özer said that the Ministry focuses on quality based projects aiming at providing a healthy and safe school environment to students as they already solved accessibility to education problems in the last 20 years under the leadership of President Erdoğan.
Spotless Future Begins At Schools Campaign
The campaign aims at raising awareness about hygiene and cleaning among students, teachers, school administrations, support personnel and parents and organizing school and social responsibility campaigns within this framework.
Student projects based on hygiene will be competing in "Best Examples" contests and OPET will present draft architectural projects for school restrooms to the Ministry. The Ministry will also design contents and organize training programs about the project.
Erdoğan and Özer meet children at the classroom
Following the ceremony Emine Erdoğan and Minister Özer visited Ostim Primary School and its classrooms.
Emine Erdoğan received information about "Zero Waste" handicrafts of kindergarten students and then chatted with them and their teachers.
Emine Erdoğan also attended a "hygiene training" course for 1st grade students and gave books and crayons to students as gifts.
Later, Emine Erdoğan observed the compost machine developed at the Konya Vocational and Technical High School and thanked children who worked in the production of the machine.
Erdoğan visited the "Don't Throw Away, Recycle" exhibition and watched the mini runway of student designs which were produced out of waste materials. She also visited "Zero Waste Library" which was founded by using recycled products.
Minister Özer's spouse Nebahat Özer and Ankara Governor Vasip Şahin accompanied Erdoğan and Özer during the school visit.