Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer got together with kindergarten administrators from 81 cities as a part of the History, Culture and Civilization Awareness Seminar.

600 Kindergarten administrators from 81 cities of the country attended the 6th of History, Culture and Civilization Awareness Seminar organized by the Ministry of National Education in İstanbul.
Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer said during his speech at the seminar that, "President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the leader who provided the children of this country the opportunity to meet independently for education. He always supported the education system and teachers despite economic conditions. I am grateful to him."
Özer stated that his Ministry will focus on quality and equal opportunity as it already completed the massification of the education process adding that, "we will walk together in order to raise children who adapt Türkiye's Century vision which was outlined by our President."
"In 2000s, rate of children who failed to have access to preschool education was 89 percent"
Özer reminded the Ministry to prioritize the dissemination of preschool education in the country and noted that the schooling rate of five year old children was only 11 percent in the 2000s.
"When you review this figure, you would see that socioeconomically disadvantaged children failed to have access to preschool education. In other words, the rate of children who failed to have access to preschool education was 89 percent in the 2000s. As a result of education campaign in all parts of Türkiye under the leadership of President in the last 20 years, schooling rate of five year old children increased from 11 percent to 98 percent, schooling rate in high school education increased from 44 percent to 95 percent, schooling rate in primary education exceeded 99 percent and schooling rate in secondary education reached 99 percent. For the first time in the history of the Republic, schooling rates in all levels of education exceeded 95 percent," said Özer.
Özer stressed that the Ministry also lifted antidemocratic practices in education such as the headscarf ban and the coefficient practice and increased the number of elective courses in line with the democratic demands of the society. The Ministry has been carrying out social politics programs such as conditional aid, free meals and dormitory and scholarship programs in order to reinforce equal opportunity in education.
Noting that limitations in the accessibility to preschool education were the main reason of success differences between schools, Özer went on to say that:
"Due to this reason, we prepared a project on August 6, 2022 with the support of Emine Erdoğan in order to inaugurate 3 thousand kindergartens. Then, there were only 2,782 kindergartens in the entire Türkiye. Till now, we increased the kindergarten capacity to 5,431 and schooling rates in preschool education gradually increased. On August 6, the schooling rate of three year old children was 9 percent and now it is 16 percent. Schooling rate of four year old children was 16 percent and now it is 37 percent. Schooling rate of five year old children increased from 65 percent to 98 percent. On August 6, the schooling rate in preschool education in İstanbul was below the Türkiye average, it was 45 percent and now it is 80 percent. Scientific studies show that children who enroll in preschool education have longer education and employment life and low crime rate in the future."
"OECD vocational education summit was convened in İstanbul. Türkiey shared successful examples with other countries."
Özer mentioned developments in vocational education during his speech and stated that vocational education rose like a phoenix from the ashes.
"Number of apprentices and foremen in all vocational education centers in the country was only 159 thousand, today this figure reached 1 million and 108 thousand. Today, we talk about success stories in vocational education rather than problems. Due to this reason, the OECD vocational education summit was organized in İstanbul and Türkiye shared success stories and examples with other countries," said Özer.
Özer noted that his Ministry also prioritizes professional development training programs for teachers in line with the belief that an education system is as strong as its teachers.
Minister Özer went on to say that: "The quality in our education system will increase as much as we support personal and professional development of our teachers. We have taken two crucial steps. Firstly, we allocated the training program budget directly to schools so that they can organize school based programs. We have increased this budget which was 8.9 million liras in 2021 to 292 million liras in 2022 and 210 million liras of this budget was sent directly to schools. We also allocated 6.5 billion liras to every school in the country as a part of new school year preparations."
Özer reminded that they have founded professional development societies for teachers adding that, "Annual training program attendance per teacher was 44 hours in 2020, it increased to 94 hours in 2021. Our goal for 2022 was 120 hours but this figure has already exceeded 205 hours and it will probably reach 250 hours until the end of this year."
Özer mentioned Teacher Profession Law during his speech and said, "As President Erdoğan stated this law was a result of sixty year-long longing. We wanted to establish a mechanism about the development of teachers. We organized training programs and an exam in order to improve the employee rights of teachers. Some wanted to protest the Teacher Profession Law and what is the result? 99.7 percent of qualified teachers have attended the exam and 98 percent of them will become head and expert teachers."

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