MINISTER ÖZER INAUGURATED HAYDARPAŞA VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL ANATOLIA HIGH SCHOOLMinister of National Education Mahmut Özer stated that the education system should be normalized for the normalization of Turkey during the pandemic adding that, "Our biggest advantage in keeping face-to-face education open is high vaccination rate among teachers. As of today, the rate of teachers who got their first dose of vaccination is 93 percent.
Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer, İstanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya, other officials and students attended the inauguration ceremony of the Haydarpaşa Vocational and Technical Anatolia High School after reinforcement of the school building against an earthquake. Minister Özer expressed his happiness to reopen the old school which is the symbol of an old tradition and was supported by Abdülhamit II.
Noting that this old school witnessed the graduation of 30 thousand students till now and there are many bureaucrats, businessmen and industrialists among its graduates, Özer wished long and prosperous life to graduates, teachers and students of the school.
"We have to continue face-to-face education"
Stressing the importance of face-to-face education and training, Özer noted, "Face-to-face education began on September 6. As I frequently mentioned, education is an important element in the construction of a country and educating the labor force. In this light, schools must be opened first and closed last. Keeping schools open is not only a matter of education but also a matter of "national security." Disadvantaged groups have been affected most due to distance education. Due to this reason, we have to continue face-to-face education by taking all necessary measures we want to maintain our focus on equal opportunity in education."
"We continue our march with determination"
Pointing out that the first 6 weeks of the new school year ended, Minister Özer said, "The education system in Turkey is gigantic. It covers approximately 20 million people including 18 million students, 1.2 million teachers and more than 100 thousand education workers. The capacity of the Ministry of Education is not the sample of Turkey but its universe. The education system of the country should be normalized in order to normalize Turkey during the pandemic."
Minister Özer stated that there are 71 thousand and 320 schools, 57 thousand and 108 of them being state schools in the education system adding that, "As of today, the first 6 weeks of the new school year has ended and there are no closed down schools. In other words, we have approximately 1 million classrooms in our education system and as of today, 4 thousand and 25 of these classrooms suspended education due to the pandemic. This rate is below one percent. Quarantine period of 1132 of these 4 thousand and 25 classrooms will end on Friday and the quarantine period of other 1015 classrooms will end on Sunday. It means that 2 thousand and 147 of these classrooms will continue face-to-face education by Monday. We will continue to keep schools open with determination."
Özer pointed out that the Ministry of National Education has been implementing this process in line with suggestions of the Ministry of Health and Health Science Board and guidelines prepared in cooperation with these state organs.
Vaccination rate among teachers
Mentioning updated information concerning vaccination rate among teachers, Minister Özer went on to say that, "As I mention frequently, our biggest advantage in keeping face-to-face education open is high vaccination rate among teachers. As of today, the rate of teachers who got their first dose of vaccination is 93 percent and the rate of teachers who got two doses of vaccination is 86. Rate of teachers who are immune to the Corona virus is 5 percent. In other words, rate of teachers who got two doses of vaccination and those who are immune are 91 percent. This rate is higher than Turkey average and countries which kept their schools open in the last one and a half years like Finland, Sweden and Germany."
Stressing that Turkey made important investments in education since 2002 under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Minister Özer stated:
"In 2002, there were 500 thousand teachers employed in the state schools, now this figure has reached 1.2 million. This means that the student per teacher rate in our country is approaching OECD figures. Accession to preschool which was 300 thousand in 2002 reached 1.3 million today. This means that we have reached 71 percent rate. We are not unsuccessful in education, we have taken many steps but there are still many things we have to achieve. We are building 100 new kindergarten buildings in İstanbul and we are planning to finish the construction of these schools until the end of this year."