MINISTER ÖZER COMMENTED ON THE EDUCATION AGENDA DURING LIVE TRT NEWS PROGRAMMinister of National Education Mahmut Özer was a guest on a live TRT news program. Minister Özer stated that his Ministry has defined rules which must be obeyed in all schools adding that, "in case of dissemination of Covid-19 cases, we will take decisions about classrooms not about the whole school. We will take all kinds of measures in an effort to keep schools open." Pointing out that the rate of teachers with at least one dose of vaccination increased to 91 percent, Minister Özer said, "With the will of Allah, we will continue face-to-face education. Currently, there are no schools which are closed due to the pandemic. During the first week of face-to-face education, face-to-face education was suspended only in 198 classrooms in the entire country which has a total of 850 thousand classrooms."
Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer commented about the new school year and answered questions on a live program on the TRT news channel.
Providing information about measures taken about face-to-face education at schools under the Covid-19 conditions, Özer reminded that during the first week of face-to-face education, face-to-face education was suspended only in 198 classrooms in the entire country which has a total of 850 thousand classrooms.
"There are a total of 71 thousand and 320 schools, 57 thousand and 108 of them being state schools in Turkey and there are no schools which suspended education due to the pandemic," stated Minister Özer.
Answering a question about rumors about a group message sent to cellphones of parents that schools will be closed in October, Minister Özer said, "It is not even a matter of discussion. We have set the rules which must be obeyed in 850 thousand classrooms and 71 thousand and 320 schools. Continuation of face-to-face education is based on cases. None of our schools are closed right now but face-to-face education has been suspended in 198 classrooms due to Covid-19 cases or close contact but education at schools continue. Students in the mentioned classrooms are carrying out their education through digital platforms. In case of dissemination of cases at schools, we will make decisions about classrooms not about the entire school or at the provincial level. We maintain our primary position, schools will be kept open. We have taken our decisions in the light of scientific data. A month later, we will make required updates according to new scientific data. Still, we will take all kinds of measures in order to keep our schools open."
Stressing that everyone should assume responsibility in face-to-face education and follow measures, Minister Özer said, "Keeping schools open is not only a matter of education but also a matter of national security. Due to this reason, all people in the country should make sacrifices in order to keep schools open as much as possible unless there are very extraordinary circumstances."
"Our teachers are managing a very successful process"
Giving information about the vaccination rate among teachers and education workers, Özer stated, "In August, the rate of teachers who got at least one dose of vaccination was 73 percent and this figure rose to 91 percent yesterday. Turkey's average is 83 percent, in other words, the vaccination rate among teachers is 8 times higher than the Turkey average. Rate of teachers who got two doses of vaccination was 59 on August 6 and it increased to 78 as of yesterday. Our teachers are managing a very successful process not only in terms of their own health but in terms of setting an example for the entire country. I would like to express my gratitude to teachers."
Minister Özer went on to say that his Ministry is working in coordination with the Ministry of Health about making PCR tests among students upon the consent of their parents according to sample surveys conducted in certain schools. Özer stressed that PCR tests definitely will not be applied to students if their parents did not give their consent.
Answering a question about tablet computer distribution to students, Özer pointed out that the Ministry distributed approximately 2 million tablet computers and added, "We have surveyed the tablet and computer needs of students studying in the suspended classrooms and responded to their needs while distributing tablet computers."
"Doors equally open for all teachers"
Concerning the appointment of additional 15 thousand teachers based on their 2020 and 2021 Public Personnel Selection Examination (KPSS) grades, Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer said; "This appointment is the contribution of our President to the country's education system. The Ministry of National Education is not involved in positive discrimination, we have to be fair. We have granted application rights to all candidates who entered 2020 and 2021 KPSS exams. Doors are equally open for all candidates."