MINISTER ÖZER ADDRESSED HIS COUNTERPARTS AT THE HIGH LEVEL MINISTERIAL MEETING ORGANIZED AS A PART OF THE TRANSFORMING EDUCATION SUMMITMinister of National Education Mahmut Özer made a speech at the High Level Ministerial Meeting organized as a part of the Transforming Education Summit which will take place in New York during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
The Minister of National Education stated during his speech at the meeting that the world has faced extraordinary circumstances such as pandemics, migration waves and climate change and education affected due to these problems but also emerged as the strongest instrument in the solution of mentioned problems.
"I believe that we must discuss how to turn the crisis in the world into an opportunity to make our education systems more resilient," said Minister Özer.
Stressing that Türkiye always prioritized education even under hardest conditions, Özer said that his Ministry has reinforced its education infrastructure in the early stage of Covid-19 pandemic and maintained the continuation of education through distance education via Education Information Network (EBA), enriched education opportunities by establishing television stations and distributed nearly 700 thousand tablets to children who were in need.
"We increased preschool schooling rate from 78 percent to 93 percent only within a year"
Noting that distance education cannot substitute face-to-face education, Minister Özer said, "We achieved to complete the school year with face-to-face uninterrupted education after taking required measures and making necessary investments. We established mechanisms for recovering learning loss due to pandemic such as supplementary sources, support courses and summer schools."
"It requires great effort to establish a continuous improvement culture in a large scale education system like our country which has 19 million students and 1.2 million teachers. Primarily, we increased the schooling rate especially in K-12 level education to 90 percent. We increased preschool schooling rate from 78 percent to 93 percent within only a year in order to provide a more equitable education system," stated Özer and noted that the Ministry of National Education distributes free textbooks and supplementary education materials in line with free education principle.
Özer went on to say that they have expanded the context of academic support and remedial education programs, supported socioeconomically disadvantaged students, children who need special education and children who are living in Türkiye due to forced migration.
"Türkiye is among the leading countries which have been playing host to millions of immigrants from different countries especially Syria. Our country continues to provide education services to more than 1 million Syrian children who are under temporary protection," said Özer.
Noting that vocational education is vital for sustainable development, Özer said that the vocational education system in Türkiye is improved according to the needs of labor market and his Ministry equipped adults with vocational skills through newly established vocational education centers.
Minister Özer stressed that the priority of Türkiye is supporting the professional development training programs of teachers who are the main actors of the education, they have been encouraging all teachers in the country to enroll updated on the job training programs and provide both online and school based training opportunities.
Özer stated that his Ministry continues to provide more than 1 million adults in different subjects through modular training programs every month adding that, "Approximately 70 percent of those who enrolled in these programs are women. We aim at helping them to develop their skills though training programs and make these skills more compatible with the demands of labor market and help these women to become more resilient."
"As always, Türkiye is ready to work in cooperation and solidarity for building a more prosperous world."