"OUR GOAL IS TO BE RANKED AMONG THE FIRST TEN COUNTRIES IN TIMSS"Minister of National Education Selçuk and Executive Director of International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement Dirk Hastedt attended the online TIMSS 2019 Evaluation Conference organized by the Ankara Education Platform. Minister Selçuk said during his speech at the conference, "Our goal is to be ranked among the first 10 countries of the World in TIMSS. Turkey has the ability and competence to achieve this goal." Meanwhile, Hastedt congratulated Turkish students for their achievement in TIMSS 2019 adding that," I see a great achievement when I take a look at the results. I think these results are great."
Minister of National Education Ziya Selçuk participated in the online the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 Evaluation Conference organized by the Ankara Education Platform and made comments about the results of TIMSS 2019, Turkey's 2023 Education Vision and distance education process.
Stating that the Ministry has been taking steps in line with action plan which they called as 2023 Education Vision, Selçuk said that the Ministry of National Education has been working in an effort to take decisions suitable to the changes occurred since March 2020 when first new type of corona virus (Covid-19) patient was diagnosed and during the transition to the distance education.
Minister Selçuk stressed that closing schools for face to face education and necessity for blended education urged updates and underlined that they considered these hardships as an opportunity as this new period caused teachers, parent and students to adapt new skills.
Selçuk made the following comments about distance education: "The EBA platform which was visited approximately 13 billion times since the beginning of distance education became the most visited education websites of the world. With live class and integration of alternative applications to the system, EBA has the capacity to provide for approximately 3 million lessons every day. Every country has similar websites but according to the international figures, EBA is the most frequently used website by teachers and students. Only a few countries in the world managed to establish 3 separate television channels for education and Turkey is one of these countries.
Our communication center which was founded in order to increase the quality of education services won second award in a worldwide contest and our virtual robot EBA Assistant ranked first in the world. Still EBA Assistant is among the most frequently used virtual assistants of the world. We are working in an effort to provide equal access to all education services. We have founded 14 thousand and 300 EBA support room and 170 Mobile EBA support points all over the country. We have distributed 360 thousand tablets to students and we will complete the distribution of 500 thousand tablets until the end of January."
"Analysis reveals that Turkey achieved an high intensity performance which was beyond expectations"
Minister Selçuk stressed that deep-rooted and respected TIMSS shows the student profile of participant countries.
Noting that Turkey managed to increase its grades in all fields and ranked higher in the country listings in TIMSS 2019, Selçuk said, "Analysis reveals that Turkey achieved a high intensity performance which was beyond expectations. Socioeconomic differences between countries are important. Turkey ranked among the countries that showed highest performance in the world. "
The minister reminded that Turkey's ranking in 8th grade mathematics level which was 24 in 2015 rose to 20 in 2019; in science level Turkey was ranking 21 in 2015 and this figure increased to 15 in 2019.
"These are very positive but not enough"
Selçuk said that for the first time Turkey has managed to exceed 500 points in TIMMSS which is considered as constant success criterion and results revealed that performance improvement is the same in all regions of the country.
"These are very positive but not enough, we have other goals. We will make most of our success in both PISA and TIMSS and use the data we obtained from these studies in producing new policies. We have dreams and goals. Our goal is to be ranked among the first ten countries in the world. Turkey has the ability and competence to achieve this goal," said Selçuk.
Stating that TIMSS which measures 21st century skills of students and other international ratings are not the only measurement, Selçuk underlined the importance of other important skills such as critical thinking, reasoning and reading comprehension and he considers education system as a whole which combines mind and heart.
Minister of National Education Selçuk stated that the Ministry has decided in principal to open face to face education adding that, "We believe that the duty of our Ministry is to open schools and bring teachers and students together under the roof of the schools. We are having constant contacts with the Ministry of Health, the Science Board and other related offices and agencies about this decision."
"Turkey achieved great progress"
Executive Director of International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) Dirk Hastedt said that IEA is a nongovernmental and independent organization and had conducted more than 30 education studies since its establishment in 1958.
Hastedt said, "We congratulate students in Turkey for the perfect results they achieved in math and science. According to study data there is an important increase in the achievements of Turkey. We see that Turkey has achieved great progress when we consider the results of study especially in 2011, 2015 and 2019. I think it is great... Turkey ranked upper middle position with these results."
Hastedt said that success rate differences between female and male students in the study results are always significant and male 4th grade students in almost half of the participant countries ranked higher in math.
"When we take a look at Turkey's results, we see that both female and male students got similar grades in math and science and success difference between genders is not significant in terms of statistics."
Noting that according to the results of the TIMSS 2019 Turkey passed the advanced threshold; Hastedt said that these results revealed that the teachers needed professional improvement in digital competence all over the world.
"We have made an achievement which can be accomplished in 50 years within a year in distance education"
Meanwhile, Head of the Ankara Education Platform Mirkan Aydın stated that, "We have achieved in a year something that can be accomplished in 50 years in distance education."
Stating that distance education and technology cannot fill the shoes of teachers and schools in the long run, Aydın underlined that, "Our demand from all decision makers of our country and the world is to manage restrictions, decisions concerning vaccination and public health according to the idea of keeping face to face education open."