MINISTER ÖZER ATTENDED TOBB TURKEY EDUCATION COUNCIL MEETINGMinister of National Education Mahmut Özer has attended the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) Turkey Education Council Meeting.
Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer stressed that Turkey made important investments in its education system and achieved substantial improvement in this field.
Minister Özer stated that like other countries in the World, the most important breaking point in the education system in Turkey is the equal opportunity in education and went on to say that, "Our priority is to increase equal opportunity in education in this new term. Suspension of face-to-face education worsened the problem and schools should be kept open."
Noting that there are a total of 20 million people in the Turkish education system, 18 million of them being students, 1.2 teachers and other education workers, Özer said, "Education system should be normalized and we have to maintain face-to-face education in order to normalize Turkey's Covid-19 process."
Rate of classrooms that suspended face-to-face education is below 1
Özer reminded that 2 months have passed since the beginning of face-to-face education and stated, "There are 850 thousand classrooms in our system, as of today, only 1817 of these suspended education, in other words, the rate of classrooms that suspended face-to-face education is below 1. Two month long experience revealed that schools can become safest places when required measures are followed strictly."
Stressing that the vaccination rate among teachers gradually increased, Özer said, "As of today, the rate of teachers who got the first dose of vaccination is 93 percent and rate of teachers who got two doses of vaccination is 87 percent. Rate of teachers who were previously infected with coronavirus and immunity is 5 percent. In other words, the rate of teachers who got two doses of vaccination or who are immune is 92 percent. This rate is higher than Turkey's average."
Content of support and training courses will be shaped according to the new implementation
Minister Özer reminded that his Ministry initiated new mechanisms in an effort to recover learning loss while keeping schools open during the pandemic and took new decisions concerning support and training courses within this framework.
Stating that the Ministry will start a new project in the entire country, Özer said, "For the first time in our history, we will begin to assess learning loss in Turkish, maths and science lessons among 7th, 8th and 12th grade students. Approximately 4.5 million students will attend this assessment project. We have to determine their level in these lessons in order to design support mechanisms. Content of support and training courses will be shaped according to the new implementation and result of this assessment." Özer said that the Ministry will begin to distribute free supplementary textbooks and learning materials to all students in November.
Goal to open 750 new kindergartens in İstanbul until the end of 2022
Noting that they have defined three areas for maintaining equal opportunity in education, Özer explained activities carried out in an effort to increase accession to preschool education.
"We are aiming at increasing the schooling rate of 3 year old children from 14 percent to 50 percent, schooling rate of 4 year old children from 35 percent to 70 percent and schooling rate of 5 year old children from 78 percent to 90 percent until the end of 2022. Our goal for 2023 is to increase the schooling rate of 4 and 5 year old children to 100 percent. We have made related plans," stated Minister Özer.
Özer reminded that the Ministry initiated a project with the support of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's spouse Emine Erdoğan for the construction of 100 new kindergartens in İstanbul adding that, "We are aiming at building 750 new kindergartens in İstanbul until the end of 2022."
Özer stated that encouraging teachers for professional improvement is the second area and they are planning to support teachers to attend professional improvement, personal development and leadership training programs. He noted that 1.2 million teachers will attend at least one training program every year.
Minister Mahmut Özer mentioned that vocational education is the third area and they took important steps in this field in cooperation with TOBB.
"Recently, the importance of vocational education in responding to the quality of human resources in the labor market is recognized. Now, it is time to discuss new opportunities in vocational education rather than its problems," added Özer.
Meanwhile, TOBB Chairman Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that they always supported vocational education adding that, "We are cooperating with 114 schools in 81 cities of the country in order to design vocational education according to the needs of the sector."