Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer made statements on the agenda in the joint live broadcast of Kanal 7 and Ülke TV, and answered questions.
Özer stated at the beginning of the program that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was warmly welcomed by the public in the first round of the Presidential Election.
Saying that antidemocratic practices in the field of education were abolished under the AK Party government, Özer continued as follows:
“For 20 years, free books have been distributed consistently and nearly 4 billion books have been distributed. We, as of this academic year, have eliminated the issue of auxiliary resources. In other words, our friends prepared and distributed 190 million auxiliary resources related to auxiliary resources to all students. On the other hand, transported education. education moving those children from neighborhoods with very few students to the nearest school destination in order not to block their access to education. These children have been transported for free, steadily for years. All students under bussed education were given free food. While there were 1.8 million meals so far As of February 6, we increased this to 5 million. We gave free food to all pre-school education.”
Explaining their physical investments and their work on the democratization of education, Özer said about the social policies implemented in education, “The current cost of the policies implemented in this education is 525 billion liras. The good thing is that no project started in 20 years has been interrupted.” used the phrases.
“The rate of enrollment in education has exceeded 99 percent at all levels”
Reminding that the 5-year-old schooling rate was 11 percent in the 2000s, Özer said, “Only 11 of our 100 children had access to education. 89 of them could not. Those 11 were families with the strongest socioeconomic level, so the inequality of opportunity in education started from there.” made the statement.
Pointing out that the schooling rate in secondary education was 44 percent in the said period, Özer said, “Currently, this rate has increased to 99.12 percent in secondary education and high school. 99.54 percent in primary school, 99.17 percent in secondary school. That is, for the first time in the history of the Republic, from kindergarten to high school. Schooling rates at all levels of education have exceeded 99 percent. This is a great achievement.” he said.
“The number of teachers has reached 1 million 250 thousand”
Expressing his thoughts on the education system before the AK Party governments, Özer continued his words as follows:
“You will not build schools, you will not make physical investments, and you will implement headscarf bans and say, ‘Conservatives do not send their girls to school.’ It is a malicious approach, that is, their intention is not for all the young people of this country to meet with education. ‘You can come to education on my terms.’ The message has been given. Today, it is as if those strange children’s access to education or the schooling of girls, the improvement of vocational education are their problems, as if they are producing such solutions with crocodile tears. The perpetrators of the coefficient application, the perpetrators of the headscarf bans. Those who pose the problem cannot produce a solution, they cannot be a part of the solution.
Expressing that while the number of students increased, the classes did not become crowded and they also increased the number of teachers, Özer said:
“The number of teachers has reached 1 million 250 thousand today with our latest appointments. There is an interesting statement here. The OECD report confirms that the number of students per teacher in high school is even better than the OECD average. In other words, someone says, ‘Crowded classes are so and so’. There is a disease of forming the entire education system through individual examples in education.”
Özer stated that they developed a tracking system for students who should have been in high school before the 6 February Kahramanmaraş-centered earthquakes and they were working on the field.
“We have developed 2 systems for students who should be at school”
When asked about the 95,000 unregistered students who were supposed to be in school, Özer answered:
“We have developed two systems in this process. The first is an early warning system. And a follow-up system. The early warning system monitors and warns about the socioeconomic status of the family, absenteeism, and failures in academic grades. At that time, our provincial directorates, school directorates, and guidance counselors work with different mechanisms. “He meets with the family, tries to find solutions to their problems. If there is a problem that concerns other ministries, he tries to solve it. The tracking system also includes the process of finding the students who are not registered, but integrating them into the system one by one.”
“There is a segment that creates a negative perception about education in Turkey”
Stating that a negative perception was created by a group about the education system, Özer said, “For example, for private schools, ‘Private schools are better than public schools.’ “No, it’s not. Public schools are much better than private schools. Of course, there are private schools with tradition. It’s not about school facilities, but with the network and past tradition, these are separate things.” he said.
Drawing attention to the importance of economy in education, Özer said:
“The state has done the best it can, and the Ministry of National Education is the one where it allocates the most budget in education every year, and it continues. We also focused on policies to improve the quality, especially on a school basis. You know, the school-based budget was implemented for the first time. We send budgets to schools. 7 billion In 2022, 6 billion and 13 billion liras were sent and sent for the first time in this academic year. What does this mean? It is mentioned in the OECD report, ‘Schools are now gaining their autonomy.’ He says. What does it mean? He is now able to meet his own needs and make his own decisions.”
Expressing that they are making long-term investments, Özer shared the following views:
“Our aim in Turkey is to constantly increase the quality, reduce the gap in success between schools and raise young people who are not only a country that can compete strongly with their peers in the world, but also internalize its state, nation, priorities, values and culture, and have the potential to say different things to the world. If we claim to be the Century of Turkey today, one of its most important solid foundations is the distance covered in education.”
“You have been the Minister of National Education since August 2021. So far, we have mostly progressed on the scorecard of 20-21 years. How was your term?” Özer answered the question as follows:
“I said at the beginning, ‘I’m not going to reform.’ What Turkey needs is to improve the process rather than reform. To prioritize improvements so that tomorrow is better than today. Those small steps are just like the Chinese influence in a place like ours with a huge scale. So when you base a small development population in China, it’s huge. It causes a fluctuation. We took the same approach and focused on three issues. One is the expansion of pre-school education, two, the strengthening of vocational education, three, the strengthening of the professional development of the teacher. We talked about pre-school education a little while ago. Actually, there is the inequality, that is, the difference in success between schools. where it starts is pre-school education. Studies around the world show that individuals who continue their pre-school education stay in education longer in their lifetime, stay in employment longer. What does it mean? A country has a much more qualified human resource. Three, school “When pre-school education becomes widespread, women’s employment increases. When they give their children free of charge, they can easily be included in employment.”
Sharing the information that there were 2,782 kindergartens in Turkey when he took office, Özer said, “We created a capacity of 6,700 kindergartens in a short period of one, one and a half years.” said.
Students in the earthquake zone return to their schools
Explaining that they will invest more in teachers in the Century of Turkey, Özer thanked the teachers for their sacrifice during the epidemic process and the Kahramanmaraş-centered earthquake that took place on February 6th.
Özer said, “For the first time, Turkey faced a disaster that has been described as the disaster of the century and is still experiencing its effects. We lost many lives there, I wish God’s mercy on all those we lost. Our teachers voluntarily went to the region from the first day without waiting for an instruction from the Ministry. They produced bread and set up tents. They sorted the products sent, organized courses. They did everything related to humanitarian aid beyond education. This geography is the geography of the heart. People try to produce happiness by helping others.” used the phrases.
“You made a decision to facilitate transfers after the earthquake, how is the current situation there?” Expressing that schools are the first places to open after disasters across the world, Özer said that they work with the motto “Continue education everywhere and under all conditions” and that they have opened schools in stages.
Pointing out that the students returned to their schools with the normalization of the education system in the region, Özer said, “As of today, the number of students who have re-registered to the region is 82 thousand 405. Half of them have returned. The places with the highest number of returns are the places most affected by the earthquake.” gave the information.