MINISTER ÖZER INAUGURATED ERHAN AFYONCU LIBRARYMinister of National Education Mahmut Özer inaugurated İstanbul Atatürk Science High School library named after historian Erhan Afyoncu.
Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer highlighted the transformation of education in the last 20 years during his speech at the inauguration ceremony of İstanbul Atatürk Science High School Erhan Afyoncu Library and stated that important investments were made during this period in an effort to increase the quality of human resources of Türkiye.
Noting that antidemocratic practices that caused barriers in education were lifted and Türkiye achieved massification of education with a 70 years delay during, Özer went on to say that:
"My statements about wrong education policies were interpreted as I was criticizing reform campaigns carried out in the last 20 years. On the contrary, I was mentioning wrong policies that were implemented 20 years ago. As an educator, I always expressed my gratitude to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who was the architect of the transformation in education."
Özer stressed that Türkiye has been improving his position in the international students success surveys such as PISA and TIMSS in the last 20 years.
"PISA is surveying mathematics and science literacy of 15 year old students. It is because it is the compulsory education age in OECD countries. Mother language, mathematics and science literacy is crucial. Türkiye gradually increased its success in the PISA survey," said Özer.
Özer noted that his Ministry focused on three basic subjects during this period namely, equal opportunity in education, vocational education and training programs for teachers.
Özer talked about his one year as the Minister of National Education
Minister Özer said that he was appointed as the Minister of National Education on August 6 of 2021 and said that the first year of his Ministry was full of nice activities.
"First of all, we adamantly continued face-to-face education. Thanks to Allah, we showed that schools are the safest places and they do not only serve for education and they have a multifunctional role which cannot be compensated for in other digital platforms," stated Özer.
"We inaugurated 1,800 new kindergartens and 10,000 new preschool classrooms"
Noting that he had taken two important steps in an effort to provide equal opportunity in education, Özer said that his step was to increase preschool schooling rates.
Özer said, "Unfortunately schooling rate in preschool education was not in the desired level despite 90 percent schooling rates in other levels of education. On August 6, 2021, we have decided to open 3,000 new kindergartens and 40,000 preschool classrooms. Within a year, we inaugurated 1,800 new kindergartens and 10,000 new preschool classrooms and the schooling rate of the 5 year old age group increased from 78 percent to 93 percent. We expect that the number of newly inaugurated kindergartens will exceed 3,000."
Concerning vocational education, Minister Özer stated that academically successful students started to prefer vocational education, production capacity of vocational high schools increased and these schools started to register their patents and useful models as results of steps taken by his Ministry.
Özer reminded that the most important step was taken in vocational education centers adding that there were 249 thousand and 774 students in these centers before the coefficient practice and this figure dropped to 74 thousand in 1998 after the coefficient practice.
He said that December 25, 2021 is an important date for vocational education. On this date, Vocational Education Law No. 3308 was amended and provided the graduates of these centers the opportunity to receive a high school diploma. After the amendment, the number of students enrolled in these centers reached 159 thousand.
"In the last year, we see that there are 580 thousand apprentices and foremen in the vocational education center system. Our goal is to increase this number to 1 million until the end of this year. It is a crucial step for the future of our country and for small and medium size enterprises," stated Özer.
Minister Özer also mentioned the Teaching Career Law that came into force on February 14, 2022.
The new law stipulates expert and head teaching career steps for teachers.
Özer noted that 613 thousand teachers have applied to enter expert and head teaching exams. Adding that professional development training programs for teachers have reached the highest figures of the last 20 years, Özer said the goal of the Ministry is to give a 120 hours training program for each teacher. The Ministry has increased the budget allocated to the teacher training programs by 5 times. In 2021, the budget allocated for teacher training programs was 8,9 million liras and it recently reached 292 million liras.
"I am happy to see that we have achieved our goals within a short period of time"
"Thanks to Allah, we have achieved our goals within a short period of time. We prioritize Turkish, mathematics, foreign language and culture literacy. Almost 1 million students enrolled in summer mathematics and foreign language courses. We have opened 16 thousand and 361 libraries as a part of the "No More Schools Without Libraries" project that was initiated on October 26 under the auspices of President Erdoğan's spouse Emine Erdoğan. As the Minister of National Education, I am proud to say that we have 57 thousand and 108 schools, 146 thousand buildings, 18,9 million students and 1,2 million teachers. All these schools have libraries," said Özer.
Culture History lesson will be included to the curriculum
Noting that change must start from school administrators, Minister Özer said that his Ministry has decided to include culture history lessons to the curriculum.
The Ministry will organize culture history training programs for teachers and school administrators within this framework.
Minister Özer thanked Afyoncu for his contribution to the education system at the end of his speech.