President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Minister of National Education rang the first school bell during the ceremony held at the Sancaktepe Arif Nihat Asya Anatolia High School on the occasion of the 2022-2023 School Year.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during his speech at the ceremony that he defined the four pillars of the country when he came to power 20 years ago as education, health, security and justice.
"When we took office 20 years ago, we set the first of the four pillars on which we would raise the country as education, health, safety and justice. We never compromised on our priority in education, no matter what the conditions were," he said.
"Architects of big and strong Türkiye will be raised in these classrooms"
President Erdoğan pointed out that Arif Nihat Asya has left his mark in the literature with patriotic poems and he also raised thousands of students, taught them to be good people who love their country and flag during his career as a teacher.
President Erdoğan expressed his happiness to open the new school year at a school named after Asya and commemorated martyred teachers who worked with sacrifice for their countries.
"We equipped our schools with modern technology"
Remembering that he vowed to build the country on four main pillars namely education, security, health and security when he came to power 20 years ago, President Erdoğan said, "No matter what the conditions are, we never neglect education. We allocated the largest part of our budget to education every year. We doubled the number of classrooms and solved the overcrowded classrooms problem. We have appointed 750 thousand new teachers and reinforced our education army. We equipped our schools with modern technology. We increased the number of sports centers at schools from 2,791 to 11,860. Number of labs increased from 21,800 to 52,870. We initiated a preschool education campaign in order to enroll children in education at an earlier age. We distributed free textbooks and saved parents from spending money for school preparations."
President Erdoğan noted that the Ministry of National Education distributed free supplementary sources in addition to free text books this year.
"Schooling rate of female students reached 90 percent"
Noting that his governments provided students the opportunity to attend many elective courses such as the Holy Quran, Erdoğan stated, "Moreover, we worked especially in an effort to increase the schooling rate of female students. Schooling rate of female students was 39 percent before our governments and today this figure reached 90 percent."
President Erdoğan mentioned the Village Public Center Project and noted, "We have inaugurated more than a thousand Village Public Centers in August. With Allah's permission, we will increase this figure to 1,500 within a very short period of time. As a part of the 10,000 Schools in Basic Education project, we improved education environments, physical and technical infrastructure, sports centers and labs."
"We want our youth who have knowledge, idea and virtue"
Stressing that their goal is to raise a youth who will have a say in the world, who will work in an effort to develop their country, who have knowledge, idea and virtue, President Erdoğan went on to say that: "We want to inherit the future of this country to youth who are proud of their history and nation rather than those who hate its own state, people and history and nation. We believe this youth is the TEKNOFEST generation. We consider equipping this generation with moral values is a matter of national security. Most important wealth of Türkiye is its young generation and we know that our efforts and services will have no meaning unless we achieve to provide them the education they need."
"Ignore rootless people who try to make you curse your forefathers"
Noting that the youth is the hope and future of the country, President Erdoğan addressed students as follows:
"You are the apple of the eye of your parents and your country. We allocate all our entire means to give you a better education so that you can take the right steps in the future. Of course, you have duties, too. First of all, you must learn your past for a stronger future. Unlike old Türkiye which considered its youth as a threat, you have a President, government and state that gives importance to youth. Most concrete our approach can be seen in our changing infrastructure and paradigm. Ignore rootless people who try to make you forget about your thousands of years of history and even curse your forefathers."
"Do not become a prisoner of virtual world while benefiting from the means of the digital world"
President Erdoğan told students to be proud of their glorious history, victories and culture adding that, "Main principles of our culture is to respect elders, act with compassion to youngsters and love the created for the creator's sake. Do not become the prisoner of social media, internet, television and game consoles while benefiting from the means of the digital world."
"We are making the biggest investment of the history of education"
 "I believe that you will focus on reading, thinking about what you read and practice them in your life. Due to this reason, we are making the biggest investment in the history of education. We try to set common goals and establish a common vision within this framework," said President Erdoğan.  
Minister Özer: Giant investments are made in every part of Türkiye
Meanwhile, Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer expressed his wish that the new 2022-2023 school will be blessed for the country and his gratitude to President Erdoğan for his participation in the ceremony.
Noting that the last 20 years of the Republic of Türkiye witnessed a unique period and education system went through a revolutionary transformation during this period, Özer said, "Giant investments are made in every part of the country in order to provide our children to have an easy access to all levels of education. For the first time in the history of education schooling rate in preschool education increased from 11 percent to 93 percent, schooling rate in secondary education increased from 44 percent to 90 percent and schooling rate in higher education reached from 14 percent to 48 percent."
He reminded us that the number of classrooms which was around 300 thousand increased to 857 thousand.
"We also lifted all antidemocratic practices which were imposed before the 2000s. Remember, female students were allowed in schools due to the headscarf ban. Those who complain about brain drain today and support women's rights kept their silence during this ban. We also lifted coefficient practices that prevented vocational high school and imam hatip high school graduates from enrolling in higher education institutions. Today, we have teachers who are wearing headscarves and approximately 59 percent of our teachers are women," said Özer.
"We completed the preparations for 2022-2023 school year with excitement"
Minister Özer reminded that his Ministry completed the preparations for 2022-2023 school year with excitement, Özer said, "After the end of last school year on June 17, we started a campaign. We wish to start the new school year without any hitch with our 19 million students and 1,2 million students."
"We solved supplementary source problem"
Özer stated that the Ministry distributed free textbooks and supplementary source problems in order to reinforce equal opportunity in education for the first time in the 2022-2023 school year. Minister Özer noted that the Ministry distributed 136 million supplementary study books and question banks at the beginning of the new school year.
We allocated 3 billion and 750 million liras budget to all schools
Özer reminded that for the first time this year, the Ministry has allocated the budget required for the new school preparations directly to schools adding that this budget was used for cleaning supply and stationery purchases, minor repairs and education materials.
"We are happy to allocate 3 billion and 750 million liras budget to all schools and solve donation problems during registration problems in the education system. Till now, schools used 2 million and 150 million liras and they have 1 billion and 600 million liras in their accounts," stated Özer.
Özer noted that major repairs and reinforcement of 4 thousand and 256 schools are completed and new schools, kindergartens and village public centers are ready for the new school year.
"It was not possible to achieve all these if it was not for the leadership of President Erdoğan. I would like to express my gratitude to our President," said Özer.

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