Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer attended the opening ceremony of the monument built in the Keçiören Teacher Memorial Forest in memory of the teachers and education soldiers who lost their lives in the earthquake.
In his speech here, Özer wished God’s mercy on those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks and the earthquakes on 6 February.
Expressing that they have passed two critical thresholds in the last two or three years, Özer said that the first of these was the Covid-19 outbreak and the second was the February 6 earthquakes.
Özer stated that the normalization during the epidemic process “happened because educational institutions were normalized” and stated that, with the schools closed for 1.5 years, the children remained away from their teachers and schools, which are places where inequalities in the society are minimized.
Minister Özer stated that they have made important studies on issues such as pre-school, vocational education, village schools and vocational law, and continued his speech as follows:
“We have made two critical contributions to the future of this country. One of them was the will to open schools despite all kinds of conditions and impositions in Kovid. At the handover ceremony, especially with the emphasis that schools are the first places to be opened and the last to be closed, and with the will that we will not wait for the case to reset to open schools. “We set out and did not close our schools for a single day. We showed the whole society that schools will not be closed during the Kovid process.”
Noting that the education community has done selfless work after the February 6 earthquakes, Özer said:
“I am really proud of all our friends. Our deputy ministers, general managers, heads of departments, administrative staff, and teachers arrived on the field as of February 6, and they were with them not only to open educational institutions but also to deal with the problems of the citizens and to find solutions to their problems. If we have come to this day, “If life there gradually entered a normalization trend, it was thanks to the contributions of our teachers. So, the first thing we need to do under extraordinary conditions is to open schools, to normalize life… So our motto is to continue education everywhere and under all conditions.”
Minister Özer explained that after passing two critical thresholds, a serious experience has been formed in the acquis of the Ministry of National Education.
“They showed that our schools are solid and reliable”
Stating that they want to create a monument, albeit symbolic, in memory of the teachers lost in the earthquake, Özer emphasized that teachers are the pride of this country.
Minister of National Education Özer continued as follows:
“Not only did I go to the region. All of our friends focused on the products that the citizens needed, their need for shelter, their food and beverage needs. I would also like to thank our General Manager of Construction Real Estate and our deputy minister. They really showed that our schools are solid and reliable. Especially in the last 3-4 Significant investment was made in the strengthening works during the year. A very serious contribution was made to the demolition works. 465 thousand of our citizens stayed in our schools, dormitories, and teachers’ homes. The first thing that was needed in those days was the need for shelter, the second was the need for food and drink. Two things came together. We made our preparations for pre-school meals all over Turkey on February 6. We used all of those preparations in that region. On the other hand, food and beverage departments in vocational education, our teacher’s houses, our practice hotels started to produce food and needed meals quickly. We have reached such a peak. Institutions of the Ministry of National Education, which became able to provide 2 million hot meals a day.”
“It has become able to produce all the products that the citizens need”
In a statement he made in Konya in 2022 to strengthen vocational education in gastronomy departments, Özer said that he used the phrase “bread factory” instead of bread workshops with a slip of the tongue and said, “All of a sudden, all hell broke loose in Turkey, ‘What are you doing in bread production?’ “Here are the bread factories and bread workshops that were condemned as our first schools to produce warm bread for our citizens. Our vocational high schools have reached the capacity to produce 1 million 800 thousand hot breads per day. Public education centers, maturation institutes and workshops of vocational high schools are able to produce all the products that citizens need quickly.” has become.” used the phrases.
Underlining that this geography is the geography of the heart, Özer said:
“When there is a problem, our teachers do not think about themselves but the people around them. If there is a problem somewhere, our teachers are the first to run. They did not look to the right or left of the earthquake on February 6, and they were on the field without waiting for the Ministry’s instruction. 40 thousand of our teachers worked and are still in the region. They are requesting not to leave the region: ‘Let’s stay here, contribute to improving the conditions of our citizens.’ They say. The MEB AKUB team was the first search and rescue team to land on the field. I am grateful to all of them, and this society, the State of the Republic of Turkey, is also grateful to our teachers.”
Expressing that they came together to commemorate all the teachers lost in the earthquake once again with mercy and gratitude at the opening of the monument, Özer concluded his speech with the hope that “such suffering will not happen again”.
Minister Özer presented a certificate of achievement to Erhan Karasüleymanoğlu, the visual arts teacher who later designed the monument, and left carnations on the monument.