Minister of National Education Yusuf Tekin attended the Anadolu Agency Editor's Desk Program and answered questions about the issues on the education agenda.

Conveying their wishes for a successful school year to teachers, parents, students and administrators, Minister of National Education Yusuf Tekin wished that the school year starts and ends well as they desire.
Stating that they have worked several times more than they did in the summer months since the beginning of education Minister Tekin stressed that the preparations for the school year continue very intensively. Saying that they have approximately 21 million students, Minister underlined that adding the parents, they are in contact with over 60 million people in total.
Mentioning that everyone on the street has thoughts, dreams and ideals about education, Tekin said that they address 86 million people.
Noting that there are 74 thousand educational institutions and 878 thousand classrooms in Türkiye, Minister Tekin stated that there are 1 million 159 thousand 124 colleagues in total. Expressing that there are about 100 thousand administrators in these institutions, Tekin said that they are a really big community focusing on the advantages. Stating that they came together with around 10 thousand teachers to start the consultation process in the summer months, Minister Tekin said that they started a process in which 100-150 teachers in each province they visited shared their personal problems and ideas and ideals about the education and training process.
Reminding that they hold "Teachers' Room Meetings" with teachers on the first Saturday of every month, Tekin also said that they made some changes in the legislation during the summer months.
79 thousand 475 classrooms were overhauled in the summer
Noting that they put into service 5 thousand 624 new classrooms in public schools this year, they amplified 7 thousand 530 classrooms outside the earthquake zone, repaired 66 thousand classrooms, and overhauled 79 thousand 475 classrooms throughout the country in the summer.
Changes on the Regulation
Expressing that they made some changes on the regulation in line with the feedback received from the field, Tekin stressed that the private school fees are one of the most important problems. Noting that they made one of the first changes on regulation in the Regulation of Private Education Institutions, Minister Tekin said that by increasing the WPI-CPI ratio regarding private school fees, they received the guarantee from private schools that they would not increase the transportation and meal fees that would disturb the public.
Pointing out that there are other regulations preparations, Tekin said that they will be published this week.
Physical activity before the lessons
Reminding that they sent a circular to 81 provincial governors last week on the issues that should be noted about the new education period, Tekin said that they first took obesity on their agenda, which almost everyone complains about in the public. He said that they asked the governorships, provincial directorates to organize physical activities for children in the morning, before the lesson starts.
Stating that they attach importance to physical activity in primary, secondary and high schools within the constraints allowed by the physical environments of the schools, Tekin noted that the physical activity that many children do at school will be physical activity that they will do all day long which is important for the health of the child.
Noting that they want the idle school gardens to be transformed into a playground for children, Tekin pointed out the importance of this for the socialization and health of the students.
Playgrounds will be built in school gardens
Stating that they have established playgrounds where our traditional games are reflected, Minister Tekin said that children who are asocial and only make friends in electronic environments do not share with their friends when the lesson starts. He said that in order to prevent this, they asked school principals and teachers to establish playgrounds in the new term.
Stating that they installed some of the playgrounds in school gardens, Tekin informed that they also uploaded modules related to traditional games on the EBA environment. Tekin underlined that this is necessary to have a healthy individual and society.
Reminding that students used to run to the garden when the bell rang, Tekin said that this was a situation needed by the society. He stated that while making these decisions, they thought that this would reflect positively on the pedagogical education process and implemented such an application.
Emphasizing that they want to create a system in which social activities of students at both basic and secondary education levels will be graded over time, Minister Tekin said that they want to establish an environment where children can engage in social activities outside the education process and record these in the module created by the Ministry, and then can measure their success in the education process
Saying that they want to produce a model that is implemented in many Western countries, Tekin said that they aimed to create an appointment system for the school principal which they attach great importance to.
Stating that children have a lot of curiosity about their mobile phones, Tekin said that they do not want children to attend classes with their mobile phones. Noting that school principals have taken the necessary precautions regarding this matter, Minister Tekin said that children will hand over their mobile phones before they enter the classroom. Reminding that they asked teachers not to spend time with their mobile phones in the classrooms to be a good role model for the students. Adding that they have legal regulations regarding personal data, the Minister said that children record their own or their teachers' images and voices on their cell phones and share them on social media. Minister said that they want to prevent this since it has a disciplinary dimension.
"There is neither registration fee nor donation obligation in schools"
Stating that they insist on school attendance and grade repetition, Minister Tekin said that they think this is one of the problems that disrupt the education process. Minister Tekin shared the information that the regulation is in the publication process.
Underlining that absenteeism and open high school should be evaluated together, Minister Tekin said that there is a surprising density in open high school enrollment rates. Minister Tekin stated that they are working to ensure that children in formal education do not attend open high schools.
Stating that they have received information that open high school students attend courses that are underhanded, unsupervised, unauthorized and perhaps of no benefit to children, Tekin stated that these courses are a sector run by people who were dismissed from both public and private schools, especially within the scope of FETO.
Stating that they are in consultation with the Ministry of Interior regarding unauthorized courses, Minister Tekin announced that they will take the necessary measures in the new period. Asking parents to enroll their children in private education courses that are authorized and whose curriculum is approved by the  Directorate General of Private Educational Institutions affiliated to the Ministry of National Education, Minister Tekin said that they provide identification with a QR code in all private education institutions and that parents can see whether the institutions are authorized or not.
Minister Tekin said that it was not correct to give a clear figure regarding the need for teachers since they are approximate. 
Stating that the Ministry calculates the norm of schools every year at the end of the calendar year, based on the courses taught in each school, the number of students and the number of branches, Minister Tekin said that there is a need for 68 thousand teachers and that they constantly update the teacher need figures. Minister Tekin said that the need for teachers was updated because the Board of Education constantly updates the curriculum.
Emphasizing that they want to start a process regarding the need for 68 thousand teachers, Minister Tekin stated that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also supports this issue.
Stating that they talked with the President, the Strategy and Budget Presidency and the Ministry of Treasury and Finance about the number of teachers needed in the sector, Tekin said that they will start the education process with a group of newly appointed teachers at the beginning of the spring semester. Announcing that they will announce the number of people to be recruited based on branch by the end of October, Minister Tekin said that they plan to include new teachers in the education family as the new spring academic year begins.
Underlining that their needs for foreign language education are particularly intense with the innovations they will make in the future, Minister Tekin stated that they have difficulties in finding areas such as special education, classroom teaching, preschool teaching, and vocational course teaching in imam hatip schools.
Stating that they did not make a choice on this issue and that the need was clear in the electronic environment, Tekin said that they distributed this number equally among the branches based on the number of staff allocated to them. Emphasizing that they do not prioritize any need and put another need in the background, Minister Tekin said that they will share the calendar regarding this issue with the public in October, with branch distribution.
"We are planning to give an apron as a gift on Teachers' Day"
Stating that more than 70 percent of the teachers are teachers who were included in the system after 2003, Tekin said that the students cannot realize that the person in front of them is a teacher because the teachers are young. Minister Tekin said that teachers were disturbed about this issue in terms of discipline, and that they gave advice to teachers and that if there were no problems on November 24, Teachers' Day, they, as the ministry, planned to present aprons to teachers. He said that those in the fashion design departments of the Ministry's maturation institutes and universities have designed aprons and that teachers will be happy to wear these aprons on November 24. Minister Tekin said that the application of aprons is not mandatory.
An Update on Curriculum
Stating that they are constantly updating the curriculum and that the Board of Education and Discipline has taken the necessary steps in this regard, Minister Tekin said that they needed an update of the curriculum.
Minister Tekin emphasized that they frequently obtain teachers' opinions regarding curriculum updates. Emphasizing that there is no pedagogical meaning in elective courses being a continuation of other academic courses, Tekin stated that they make arrangements for children to focus on other fields that will benefit them in terms of their social, cultural or personal development.
Stating that they divided the courses into 3 categories, Minister Tekin said that they offer students the opportunity to evaluate one of the courses in their field and the other two as elective courses in which they can improve themselves.
Asking those who criticize this issue to look at the content of the elective courses, Tekin said that the elective courses include thinking training, text analysis, information technologies and software, climate, environment and innovative solutions, sustainable agriculture and food safety, basic legal knowledge, etiquette, family in Turkish social life, Turkish culture and civilization history, art and sports education.
Stating that who will teach these courses will be determined according to the decision No. 9 of the Board of Education and Discipline, Minister Tekin said that if there are students who can teach this course directly from the undergraduate program, they want the teachers to open this course. These courses can be given by teachers who are interested in this subject, who have certificates or similar documents related to this subject, and if a teacher cannot be found to teach this course, the provincial directorate of national education can appoint a person from outside, from the province general, provincial directorate of agriculture or from the public authority related to this subject. He said they gave him the opportunity.
"Teachers should be examined in terms of their own professional law"
Reminding that the Constitutional Court annulled 6 articles in the Teaching Profession Law in July, Minister Tekin said that the decision of the Constitutional Court should be examined from the perspective of teachers' own professional law. Stating that they are working on two versions since the Constitutional Court has not yet published the reasoned decision, Tekin said that they are working on a new teaching profession law in case the reasoned decision is of a quality that could eliminate the ability to implement the existing Teachers' Profession Law. He said that if a reasoned decision is made that they can implement with different solutions, they will make revisions to the current law.
Minister Tekin, who gave information about the expert teacher and head teacher exam, which is planned to be held in November, reminded that some of the issues that the Constitutional Court had canceled made this exam inapplicable. He said that, according to the reasoned decision, they could either not carry out the process related to specialists and head teachers, or the system would continue within the framework of the legislation. Reminding that applications have been received and the exam date is November 19, Minister Tekin said that they will act according to the legal process to be directed by the Constitutional Court.
Tekin said that when the Turkish Grand National Assembly starts the new legislative year, they will determine a new calendar for themselves depending on the situation.
All textbooks of children will hit the school desks as of September 11
Stating that the application of free textbooks was one of the very important issues that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan emphasized regarding education during the AK Party government, Minister Tekin said that he had serious difficulties in obtaining textbooks during his student period. Minister Tekin said that all textbooks will be on the students' desks on September 11, upon the instructions of President Erdoğan, so that students do not go through a similar process today, and that they will share around 200 million textbooks with children this year.
Minister Tekin, who learned that around 170 million books have reached the necessary places, announced that as of September 11, the distribution of around 200 million textbooks will be completed.
"The scientific level of our books is incomparable"
Stating that the cost of the textbook, which has been distributed to 20 million students to date, to the state was 2.5 times less than the only FETO publications in the market at that time, Minister Tekin pointed out that 38 FETO publishing houses prepared textbooks and supplementary books for students under the Ministry of National Education.
Stating that those who see the size of the cake do not only gain economic profit from this place, Tekin said that in a supplementary book distributed by one of the FETO publishing houses, there was a text in October 2015 saying "We invite you to the July 15, 2016 kite festival", whereas nowhere in Türkiye there was no information about there being a kite festival in İstanbul. Pointing out that the masses who manage this cake manipulated it so that their own interests would not be interrupted, Tekin underlined that the Ministry assured the parents that they would not hold them responsible for any materials other than the books distributed to their children during the transition from basic education to secondary education. Reminding that he requested the head of ÖSYM to give us a report regarding the equivalent of all questions in the university entrance exam in the high school, that is, secondary education curriculum and textbooks, Minister Tekin said that they declared to the public that students do not need anything other than textbooks that the Ministry distributed and that the support can be given through the EBA platform or other ways if requested.
"They're talking about other kinds of books or other kinds of publications"
Underlining that the textbooks and curriculum are approved by the Board of Education and Discipline, Minister Tekin underlined that the Ministry's books are at a point where they cannot be compared with other books on the market regarding their scientific level and their print quality was much better than the vast majority of books on the market.
Referring to the allegations that free textbooks are sent for recycling in some private schools, Tekin stated that they have reached few private schools that are claimed to do this, Minister Tekin stating that they have seen some of these allegations are not reflecting the truth and thus he strongly disagrees with these claims. Minister Tekin stressed that what is trying to be done is pure manipulation produced by groups that want to earn financial benefit.
In response to the question about the possibility of students passing the exam, prepared by the Ministry of National Education for high schools and universities with textbooks that will be on the desks on September 11, Minister Tekin answered that the students will definitely be successful in these exams. EBA provides students with everything they need, free of charge, in line with the curriculum." Stating that they have materials to support this process prepared according to grade level, Minister Tekin emphasized that students can benefit from these materials electronically for free.
Strengthening and repair works were carried out in the earthquake zone, and 48 thousand classrooms were overhauled and made ready for education.
Answering the question asked about the preparations for the academic year in the earthquake area, Minister Tekin reminded the instructions of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan regarding the works in the earthquake area.
Explaining that they went to all the provinces in the earthquake area in this context, that an "emergency response team" was formed in the central organization of the Ministry and that the officials in this team in each province in the earthquake zone were embezzled, Tekin stated that the emergency response teams carried out the process in coordination with the governors and provincial national education directors. It has announced that 2 thousand 571 classrooms with prefabricated and steel construction structures will be put into service for the first time for the provinces in the earthquake zone as of September 11.
Minister Tekin emphasized that these types of classroom structures were put into operation at points that could not be solved quickly with other types of measures, and said that they carried out strengthening and repair works in some schools and in this context, they overhauled 48 thousand classrooms and made them ready for education. Minister Tekin stated that since the majority of classrooms and schools were prepared in accordance with the earthquake legislation after 2002, there is no serious problem proportionally in our schools, and that they have taken their own precautions regarding the issue.
"We will transport our students to the schools we registered"
Stating that the legislation has been regulated accordingly, Minister Tekin stated that thanks to the new regulation, they have undertaken to transport students to the schools they are registered to and that the provincial directorates have started the transportation process.
11 thousand containers were allocated for the accommodation of teachers in the earthquake zone
Noting that there are approximately 210 thousand teachers including the ones newly appointed after the earthquake and already appointed before the earthquake in 11 provinces affected by the earthquake, Minister Tekin said that they have gathered the provincial directors of national education and contacted all of the teachers by phone and asked them to determine whether there was a need for accommodation. In this context, Minister Tekin said that our provincial national education directorates contacted 210 thousand teachers one by one, and 11 thousand containers were allocated under the coordination of the Ministry of Interior and Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD). Stating that they placed these containers in suitable areas, the Minister said that a total of 11 thousand 76 containers were allocated only for the accommodation of teachers. Tekin noted that teachers do not have a problem in this sense.
"Mandatory make-up programs will be implemented after the reopening of schools
Explaining that 53 thousand 920 courses were opened within the scope of lifelong learning in the earthquake region during the summer months and that adults who had a difficult time benefited from these courses, Tekin said that a total of 745 thousand 866 trainees attended these courses.
Reminding that a project was initiated under the leadership of President Erdoğan's wife, Emine Erdoğan, to sell the products produced by the trainees in these courses to philanthropists and to use the income obtained from this in the earthquake zone, Tekin reminded that they opened optional compensation programs for students during the summer months. Minister Tekin announced that compulsory make-up programs will be implemented from September 11 to October 4, and said that each student will be given support appropriate to their level. Reminding that a total of 30 thousand additional quotas were provided for the provinces in the earthquake region within the scope of the State Free Boarding and Scholarship Exam, Minister Tekin said that they gave privileges to the 8th grade students who passed from secondary school to high school, and that at least two each for these students in every school that accepts students by examination, wherever they are in Türkiye. He stated that they created a quota. He said that in this way, approximately 13 thousand additional quotas were created.
"The education and training process in the earthquake zone will start in a healthy way"
Stating that they also undertake hostel and accommodation services in the provinces where the schools of the children in the earthquake zone are located, Minister Tekin noted that they open psychosocial support programs for teachers and students. He said that nearly 3 thousand teachers take part in these programs.
Saying that the education process in the region, which experienced the earthquake disaster on September 11, will start in a healthy way, the Minister stated that they will quickly meet the classroom needs of the region upon the instructions of President Erdoğan. Announcing that they will have completed some classrooms as of September 11, Minister Tekin stated that they will put some classrooms into service when the February semester begins and that they are making preparations to have the remaining classrooms ready for the next September.
"I wish for a social education mobilization"
Answering the question about the biggest problem of the Turkish national education system and the need for reform, Minister Tekin stated that he was careful not to use the concept of reform too much, which has become very degenerate in Türkiye.
Expressing that he believes that solving routine problems in the education system and taking steps according to new developments instead of reform, Tekin said that they will reach the desired goal when these are implemented.
Pointing out that the Ministry of National Education should develop its capacity to act quickly in accordance with the needs of the age, Minister Tekin said that if they make the Ministry more dynamic and integrate it with the field, they will go a long way.
Minister Tekin underlined that his ideal is to establish the central organization of the Ministry of National Education in a short time with a dynamic bureaucratic structure that feeds on the teachers in the field and cares about the teachers, and emphasized that they are making efforts towards this end. 
Expressing that they are working to transfer the data from the field to a pool and act quickly, Tekin emphasized that delay in the implementation of decisions that concern a very large audience can cost a great deal, and that when these blockages are not present, the problems are resolved quickly.
"I desire a social education mobilization"
When asked about his message to the teachers and students about September 11, Tekin emphasized that his teacher colleagues are a part of the ministry team and they will do everything together.
Stating that parents sometimes make social demands from teachers to be parents, older brothers or sisters, Minister Tekin said that they need to support children as parents in order to remove this burden. Expressing his desire for a social education mobilization, Minister Tekin said that children should do their part and spend more time with them and take care of their education. Underlining that it is wrong to expect everything from the teacher, Minister Tekin stated that if parents, parents, teachers, public and non-governmental organizations do their part by declaring an education mobilization, the process will progress much better. 

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