"WE INCREASED OUR INVESTMENT BUDGET BY 94 PERCENT AND BROUGHT IT TO 11.3 BILLION LIRAS"Minister of National Education Ziya Selçuk made a presentation at the Turkish Parliament Plan and Budget Commission during a hearing concerning the Ministry's 2021 budget. Minister Selçuk stated that the 2021 budget of the Ministry of National Education and its affiliates is set at 211 billion 993 million and 156 Turkish Liras.
Minister of National Education Ziya Selçuk stated that the education budget in 2021 needed for the implementation of formal and non-formal education activities for all parts of society is set at 211 billion 993 million and 156 Turkish Liras and this figure is 15,7 percent of the general budget for fiscal 2021.
Noting that the 2021 budget of the Ministry of National Education is prepared according to the Budget Program, Selçuk, "With the purpose of allocating limited sources to a project that will provide the highest profit for all parts of the society, our Ministry has decided to spend the budget for the participation of disabled people in social life and special education, life-long learning, secondary education, selection and placement, basic education, international education cooperation projects, study aboard education and support programs."
Selçuk stressed that the Ministry has decided to spend 7 billion 568 million and 630 thousand Turkish Lira for the Participation of Disabled to Social Life and Special Education program and 3 billion 24 million and 407 thousand Turkish Lira for the Life-long Learning Program.
"The Ministry of National Education will increase its investment budget spared for transition to uniform education and preschool education goals, reinforcement of school buildings as a part of earthquake preparedness and workshop infrastructure for vocational schools from 5,8 billion to 11,3 billion Turkish liras," said Selçuk adding that the Ministry will continue to give direct cash and in kind support to students from its 2021 budget.
Distance education during pandemic
Minister Selçuk stated that his Ministry started the distance education process at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic which affected the whole world.
Noting that the Ministry has provided distance education contents and live classroom programs through TRT EBA channels and prepared remedial training programs, Minister Selçuk stated that they have prepared books for the orientation of students who went back to school after a long break.
Minister of National Education went on to say that they have gradually started face to face education by considering the suggestions of the Ministry of Health and the Science Board.
Noting that the Ministry set up Covid-19 assessment and follow up teams at schools and trained teachers about pandemic measures, Selçuk said that the Ministry also prepared a Prevention of Infection and Reinforcement of Hygiene Conditions at Schools Booklet.
The Ministry established 13 thousand and 304 EBA Support Centers and 127 mobile EBA Support Spots for students who need internet and computer access.
Teacher profile in Turkey
Minister Selçuk said that there are 974 thousand and 837 teachers working in formal education institutions adding that the number of teachers appointed during the term of the AK Party governments corresponds to 71 percent of the existing formal teacher number. Selçuk stated that 62 percent of the total number of teachers in the country is 40 or under 40 years of age.
New technology to serve 5 million users
Minister Selçuk said that digital the education platform Education Information Network (EBA) was totally updated according to the developing technology and in line with the 2023 Education Vision adding that Turkey Safe Schooling and Distance Education Project will provide simultaneous services to 5 million users and increase the quantity and quality of electronic education contents.
Stating that number of students who referred to enroll in vocation and technical schools increased by 63 percent, Selçuk said that 85 percent of vocational school teachers received training on the new technologies and systems.
Pointing out that the Ministry has defined the theme of 2019-2020 school year as the "patent, useful model, brand and design" for vocational and technical schools, Selçuk said that success of these schools were proven during the pandemic.
"Until today, these schools produced 6 million liters of surface cleaners, 800 thousand liters of hand disinfectants, 30 thousand liters of cologne, 60 million surgical masks, 15 thousand N95 masks, and more than 1 million face shields. We have founded R&D centers at the vocational schools and these centers managed to produce most needed products within a very short period of time," said Selçuk.
Noting that that there were 52 private preschools in 28 cities of the county in 2019, Selçuk said, "As of September 21, 2020, there is at least one private preschool in every city of the country. On the other hand, the number of private preschools in the entire county reached to 110."
Selçuk pointed out that the Ministry has received ISO 9001 Quality Management System and ISO 27001 Information Safety Management System certificates and added that they are also working on a project for the education of gifted students.
Private schooling rates
Selçuk stated that there are 14 thousand and 617 private schools in every level of education adding that the total number of students enrolled in private schools during the 2020-2021 school year has reached 8.8 percent of total of students in Turkey.
"Turkey Education Foundation made formal contacts with 104 countries"
Ziya Selçuk stated that 1 billion 645 million and 282 thousand Turkish lira is allocated to the International Education Cooperation and Study Abroad Programs from the 2021 budget of the Ministry adding that the Turkey Education Foundation made formal contacts with 104 countries and opened offices in 52 countries.
"We are examining Court of Accounts report in details"
Noting that they are carrying out detailed examination on the audit report of the Supreme Court of Accounts concerning the Ministry, Selçuk said, "we are considering every suggestion mentioned in the report for the solution of problems and we are taking necessary measures in order to prevent similar problems in the future."
The report of the Court of Accounts said that unauthorized persons who are not working in the accounting department had opened bank accounts and these accounts were not included in the accounting system of the Ministry. Selçuk said that the Ministry Inspection Board is preparing a report about the issue after the end of required inspections and investigations.