Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer addressed members of Parliament at the General Assembly on the 2022 budget of his Ministry.

Minister Özer said during his speech at the General Assembly of the Parliament on thet 2022 budget of the Ministry of National Education that expanding accessibility to preschool education, decreasing the opportunity differences among schools, professional improvement of teachers and reinforcement of vocational education are the priorities of the Ministry.
Özer noted that they had the opportunity to learn the views of stakeholders of education about prior issues of the Ministry during the 20th National Education Council meeting and added that decisions of the council are suggestions meaning that the Ministry has no obligation to approve and implement these decisions.
"Inequality in accessibility to preschool education and participation in the first level of education led to important differences" said Özer, "These differences got deeper and finally caused success differences among schools. Due to this reason, our first priority is to increase the schooling rate in preschool education. Within this framework, we aim at increasing the schooling rate among the 3 year old age group from 14 percent to 50 percent; increasing this rate among the 4 year old age group from 35 percent to 70 percent and increasing it among the 5 year old age group from 78 percent to 100 percent until the end of 2022."
"We have opened 4 thousand and 3 new kindergarten classes"
Stating that the Ministry has made required plans in order to achieve these goals, Özer said, "We will open 3 thousand new kindergartens and 40 thousand kindergarten classes in 2022. I have previously said that we would open 5 thousand new kindergarten classes until the end of the first term of this school year. As of today, we have opened 4 thousand and 3 new kindergarten classes. 79 thousand students started their education in these new classes.  This attempt increased the schooling rate among the 5 year old age group from 78 percent to 84 percent."
Özer stressed that the Ministry set a new goal to open 10 thousand kindergarten classes until the beginning of the second term adding that construction of 695 kindergarten school buildings are in progress.
Noting that decreasing differences among schools is another important part of equal opportunity in education, Özer stated they are trying to provide the same opportunities and build labs, libraries and gym centers in every school.
"New libraries for 10 thousand schools"
Minister Özer reminded that the Ministry established new libraries and updated existing ones as a part of "No More Schools Without Libraries" Project which began on October 26, 2021.
Noting that vocational high schools are producing the furniture and devices of these libraries, Özer stated that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism are providing books for the newly established or renewed libraries and they have founded libraries in 10 thousand schools.
Özer also stated that the Ministry will initiate the "Clean School" project in 2022.
"We will improve toilets and cafeterias of schools; we will use solar energy at school buildings and recycle rainwater. On the other hand, we are planning to disseminate zero waste culture in all schools and save water," said Özer.
"Distance education provides important opportunities"
"Power of an education system is based on teachers," said Özer, adding that encouraging teachers to attend professional improvement training programs is an important part of the Ministry's goal to maintain equal opportunity in education.
"We will give priority to the training of newly appointed teachers. We have made required plans. We will use all means of face-to-face and distance education in order to organize training programs for teachers," stated Özer.
Stressing that distance education provides important opportunities, Minister Özer noted teachers showed great interest in distance training program options offered between November 15 and 21 by the Ministry and 679 thousand and 386 teachers have completed training programs and received their certificates during this period.
"Teachers will have the opportunity to attend distance training programs for their professional improvement"
Minister Özer stated that the Ministry has founded "Teachers' Information Network"" in an effort to provide more distance education programs for teachers adding that, "We will organize distance professional improvement training programs between January 21 and February 7 for the first time during the mid term break. Teachers will have the opportunity to attend distance training programs for their professional improvements. We also plan to form "Teachers' Professional Improvement Community" in which they share their experience and problems."
"For the first time, comprehensive and integrated law will be in force for teachers"
Reminding that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave the good news that the Teachers' Profession Law will be presented to the Parliament for approval soon, Özer stated that for the first time,  a comprehensive and integrated law will be in force for teachers and the new law will clearly define the rights, duties and responsibilities of teachers.
Özer also mentioned vocational education during his speech at the General Assembly.
"Vocational education will make an important contribution to the economic development of Turkey and its goal to decrease young unemployment. The most important step we have taken in the reinforcement of vocational education was including the business world in the education process. We updated school programs and planned professional improvement training programs for teachers with the sector representatives," Özer said.
Özer added that vocational education institutes, high schools and Science and Arts Centers (BİLSEMs) have applied for intellectual property rights for a total of 3 thousand 806 products in the first ten months of 2021.
Minister Özer answered the questions of deputies
After his speech, Özer answered the questions of deputies. Concerning his remarks that he won't make reforms, Özer said, "I am criticized for not making reforms but previous ministers were criticized for making reforms. As an academician, I am not against reforms but I am against the idea that every minister has to make a reform."
Concerning the school rate in the country, Özer stated, "Turkey achieved an important development regarding the school rate in preschool, secondary school and high school education. Schooling rate in secondary education increased from 44 percent to 88 percent. The schooling rate which was 14 percent in higher education reached 44 percent."
Minister Özer mentioned the recent survey results of OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) concerning mother language, science and mathematics literacy among 15 year old students in OECD countries and said, "Recent PISA rankings reveal that Turkey is the country which statistically managed to increase Turkish, mathematics and science literary most despite the fact the number of students in Turkey increased more than the other OECD countries. When we consider the last assessment of Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (PISA) survey, we see that Turkey improved its score in every assessment after 2009."  
2022 budget approved  
Following the speech, budgets of the Ministry of National Education, the Council of Higher Education (YÖK), Student Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM), the Higher Education Quality Council and 127 universities were approved at the General Assembly.

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