Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer got together with teachers from 81 cities at the "İstanbul Meeting With Teachers" seminar which was organized as a part of thematic training programs prepared in order to support teachers' personal and professional developments.

Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer reminded during this speech at the meeting held in the Zübeyde Hanım Education Institute with the participation of 500 teachers that one of the three priorities of the Ministry is to support personal and professional development training programs for teachers. Other two priorities of the Ministry are equal opportunity in education and reinforcement of vocational education.
Noting that the Ministry focuses on many other issues and carries out important projects such "No More Schools without Libraries" and "Family School Project", Özer stated, "An education system is as strong as its teachers."
Özer said that the Ministry adapted three different approaches in training programs for teachers.
"First is the school based professional training programs. The Ministry allocates the budget and teachers design their training programs according to their needs. Second approach is the mobility program and third is the professional development program."
Record of last 30 years in the training programs
Noting that the training program per teacher was 44 hours until August of 2021, Özer said this figure reached 94 hours until the end of 2021 after they adapted these three approaches and founded Teacher Information Network (ÖBA) digital platform.
"The digital platform provided teachers the opportunity to attend training programs held in ÖBA. Teachers are expected to attend an average of 3,5 training programs. Our goal for 2022 was to increase the training program per teacher figure to 120 hours. It reached 192 hours within nine months. It is the record of the last 30 years," Özer stated.  
Özer reminded me that the number of teachers has constantly increased in the last 30 years and the number of 500 thousand teachers in the 2000s reached 1.2 million today.
"You are our most valuable asset"
Addressing teachers, Özer said: "Distinguished teachers, you are our most valuable asset. Quality education system will be stronger as long as we continue to support your developments. We will continue to support your training programs."
Budget allocated to professional development programs for teachers was approximately 9 million liras in 2021 and this figure increased to 292 million in 2022.
Concerning Teachers Professional Law, Minister Özer went on to say that: "The new law published on February 14, 2022 is just a beginning. It is not final and like every other law, it can be amended according to social demand." 
"Teachers didn't give credit for manipulations about the profession law"
Özer stressed that the career system stipulated by the newly passed Teacher Profession Law was not a new concept in the education system and the new only lifted the quota which was imposed in 2005 for head and expert teacher positions.
Noting that the head and expert teacher exams will not measure the efficiency of teachers and it will make assessment about their training programs, Özer stated that 614 thousand teachers have applied to enter the exam and all can become expert or head teacher if they succeeded in the exam.
"Teachers didn't give credit for manipulations about the law. 95 percent of teachers applied for the exam and 99 percent of them completed training programs. 526 thousand and 159 teachers, in other words 88 percent of those who completed training programs, completed the application process. Applications will continue until Monday," said Özer.
Expressing his happiness at the high number of applications, Özer went on to say that all problems can be solved as long as they act together with teachers and the exam will be repeated every year.
Özer reminded he had decided to meet all school administrators in İstanbul until the end of 2022 and thanked Erhan Afyoncu and Kemal Sayar for their support to the organization of culture, history and civilization awareness programs.
"Let's take a second step and let's meet with teachers in İstanbul" he said, "we will hear the suggestions of teachers coming from different parts of Türkiye in order to reinforce our education system."
Özer mentioned new school year preparations and reminded the Ministry has been distributing free text books in order to reinforce equal opportunity in education in the last 19 years.
This year, the Ministry distributed supplementary sources in addition to 153 million free textbooks. Özer stated that his Ministry will distribute 20 million free supplementary sources in October in addition to 136 million supplementary study books distributed at the beginning of the new school year.
As a part of preparations for the new school year, the Ministry allocated 3.9 billion liras to schools and schools already 2.5 billion liras and remaining 1 billion and 400 million liras are still in their bank accounts.
Özer announced that the Ministry will start a new project in order to produce support mechanisms and it will be announced next week to the public.
The new support system will be actively used by students and teachers from 5th grade to 12th grade and include more than 50,000 example questions.

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