PRESIDENT ERDOĞAN: "WE ARE DETERMINED TO CONTINUE FACE-TO-FACE EDUCATION"President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer attended the 2021-2022 School Year Opening Ceremony held at the Sultanahmet Vocational and Technical Anatolia High School. President Erdoğan said during his speech at the opening ceremony, "We are determined to continue face-to-face education. Despite the difficulties that occurred due to the pandemic, we were among the few countries which continued to provide education in the entire country. The total number of vaccination doses administered in the country is reaching 100 million" and added, "With the digital infrastructure we have established at the Ministry of National Education, we closely monitor and will follow the processes in our schools and the course of the disease. I wish that the 2021-2022 school year will be a blessing for the students, the parents, the education community and our country."
The new school year began with face-to-face education with the 2021-2022 School Year Opening Ceremony held at the Sultanahmet Vocational and Technical Anatolia High School participated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Erdoğan expressed his wish that the 2021-2022 school year will be a blessing for the students, the parents, the education community and our country.
"Success is the fruit of hard work rather than a coincidence"
"Success is the fruit of hard work based on discipline, determination and sacrifice rather than a coincidence. In addition to hardworking students, there is the signature of a devoted teacher behind every successful education institution," said President Erdoğan, "As the President of Turkey, I would like to express my gratitude to all members of our education community for their services and immense patience. I also would like to use this opportunity to commemorate our teachers who were martyred by the separatist terror organization in the prime of their lives such as Necmettin Yılmaz and Aybüke Yalçın."
"The pandemic negatively affected education like it affected all other things in life"
Stressing that the pandemic which started last year and deeply affected the whole world had adverse impact on education like other things in life, President Erdoğan said "Almost all countries took very strict measures such as shutdown in an effort to put the pandemic under control. As Turkey, we had to act carefully during the last academic year because of the extent of the deadly effect of the virus. We exercised extreme caution not to risk the lives of our teachers, children, and their families. We left behind the period when we opened our schools from time to time but mostly held lessons via the EBA, the TV and internet platform through which most of the distant education was carried out in Turkey."
Erdoğan stressed that Turkey was among the few countries which continue to provide education in the entire country.
Noting that the state allocated all its means in an effort to provide uninterrupted education to children during the pandemic, Erdoğan pointed out that they had distributed 2 million tablet computers and 8 GB free internet per month.
Erdoğan stated that they were aware of the fact that there will be no substitute of face-to-face education during the distance education period adding that, "Scientific data concerning the effect of vaccination encouraged us for allow face-to-face education. We asked the views of all stakeholders during the preparation process. The Ministries of National Education and Health came together in an effort to define measures that should be taken at schools. We have provided all means concerning hygiene such as cleaning materials and masks and maintaining a safe environment for students.
"We are determined to continue face-to-face education"
"The total number of doses that have been administered as part of our vaccination campaign that we maintain on the basis of volunteering nears 100 million," said Erdoğan, "By supplying hygiene and cleaning materials and masks, we formed an infrastructure through which the parents will send their children to school safely. The course of the disease will be followed closely via the digital infrastructure at the Ministry of National Education. I would like to use this opportunity to call on all of our citizens especially in the education community and parents to get vaccinated. All citizens can easily access the vaccine and it is free. Considering the problems other countries are facing, this is a great success. We do not want to resort to means of forcing people but we need to seize the opportunity the vaccine provides us with the most effective weapon against the pandemic."
Budget of National Education has increased to 147 billion liras in 2021
President Erdoğan said that students who went back to school after a long break are the future of Turkey and the country's next scientists, politicians, businesspersons, athletes, teachers, soldiers and doctors are among them.
Stressing that the goals set for the 100th anniversary of the Republic depends on human resources, Erdoğan stated "We can carry Turkey to the level of most developed civilizations with qualified and an original education system equipped with recent technology. We consider any investment we made for education as the best investment for the future of our country. We prioritized education since we came to power in 2002. In 2002, the budget of national education was only 7.5 billion liras and this figure was increased to 147 billion liras in 2021. We are distributing free textbooks to our students. From 2002 until today, we have appointed 700 thousand teachers."
"Our target this year is to register 250 products"
Erdoğan noted that vocational high schools have reached a level that they could register their brands, models and designs adding that: "Vocational high schools have registered a total of 188 products this year, 12 of them being patent, 8 useful models, 109 designs and 59 brands. We have set the goal for registering 250 products for this year. We are aware that vocational education has a crucial role in achieving our goals set for 2023 and 2053 and 2017 visions."
Minister of National Education Özer: "We want to continue face-to-face education. We will not give up"
Meanwhile, Minister of National Education Özer said during his speech at the opening ceremony that the school is the most important institution for education in a child's life and it is not only an educational environment but also a place that opens new horizons and introduces the world to children.
Stating that in addition to academic skills, schools equip children with social, emotional, cognitive, physical and cultural skills, Özer said, "Schools provide children to establish a bond with other children, socialize with their peers and develop self-confidence. Within this context it is fundamental for the future of children to carry out their education in a classroom under the roof of a school."
"Under the leadership of President Erdoğan, Turkey was among the first countries that administered the Covid-19 vaccines," said Minister Özer, "Turkey defined risk groups by using its well established health network. Turkey was among the few countries that defined teachers as one of the prior groups in vaccination. Until now, approximately 90 percent of our teachers got at least one dose of the vaccination or became naturally immune after recovering from Covid-19. Turkey is taking steps to gain social immunity."
Özer noted that keeping schools open is very important not only for the academic success but also for the social, emotional and psychological development of children and closing schools has adverse effects on children.
"Steps we took today are very important for the healthy and balanced development of our children. We want to continue face-to-face education. We will not give up," said Özer and addressed teachers, "Our children missed all of you. They missed their friends, too. You must get vaccinated in order to keep our schools open and let our children get their education in the classroom. You must be an example for children and the entire society. We all have a big responsibility about the future of our children. As a society, we have to protect our children and give them a nice and safe educational environment. We have to follow measures in an effort not to risk their future."
Stressing that Turkey has the capacity to overcome Covid-19 pandemic with minimum damage by following the measures, Minister Özer stated, "We do not have the luxury to lose any of our children. Safety and health of all of our children is extremely important for us. Please, get vaccinated in order to keep our children safe."
Following the speeches, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer rang the first school bell of the new term.
Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank, Presidency Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın, İstanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya, and students were present at the ceremony.