Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer attended the opening ceremony of the newly restored historical Liman Han and İTO's Monthly Assembly Meeting.

Minister Özer stated during his speech at the opening ceremony of historical Liman Han that the İstanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO) is an important stakeholder of vocational education.
"If we achieve to reinforce vocational education in İstanbul, we can achieve a development in the entire country. If we can disseminate the best examples in İstanbul to the entire vocational education system, then we can extend this to all parts of the country. We have achieved important success in the reinforcement of vocational education as a result of our three year old cooperation with İTO," stated Özer.
"Libraries are among the most important indicators of the development level of a country" stated Özer and expressed his happiness to inaugurate libraries in all schools of the country within two months.
"We have initiated the "No More Schools without Libraries" project under the auspices of Emine Erdoğan in 2021 and opened 16,361 libraries within two months. There were 28 million books in school libraries when we started the project and today there are 80 million books. As President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced earlier, our goal is to increase this figure to 100 million until the end of this year," said Özer.  
Monthly Assembly Meeting of İTO
Later, Özer attended the monthly assembly meeting of İTO and stated that such meetings are important as they provide the opportunity to make assessments about a stronger Türkiye. He added that negotiation is vital for the management of all education processes and development of education policies.
Noting that the most permanent capital of a country is its human resources, Özer said that Türkiye has taken very important steps in the last twenty years.
Özer went on to say that:
"OECD countries completed massification of education in the 1950s. They succeeded in increasing the schooling rates in all levels of education to 90 percent. Meanwhile, Türkiye was 70 years late to reach this level. After our preschool education campaign, the schooling rate of five year old children increased from 11 percent to 93 percent. Schooling rate in secondary education which was 44 percent exceeded 90 percent. Schooling rate in higher education reached from 14 percent to 48 percent."
Minister Özer stated that all antidemocratic practices in education such as headscarf ban and coefficient practice were lifted in the last twenty years and said that the education system in Türkiye is achieving a quality based growth.
Minister Özer reminded that he had the chance to explain Türkiye's education journey, its success story, increasing schooling rates among female students and transformation in vocational education to OECD General Secretary during the Summit of Education Ministers in Paris.
"After our meeting, the OECD General Secretary made an announcement in his social media account stating that the success story of Türkiye must be an inspiration for other countries. Our Ministry will continue to work night and day in order to increase the quality of education," stressed Özer.
Özer said that academically successful students started to prefer vocational high schools as results of cooperation activities concerning the reinforcement of vocational education.
Vocational high schools started to export their products
Özer stressed that the vocational high schools have no intention to compete with the private sector by manufacturing all kinds of products adding that, "Our concern and priority is to equip our students with permanent real workplace skills. We have carried our activities to a higher level when we opened R&D centers in vocational education. With the support of our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, we inaugurated 50 R&D centers in vocational high schools. Recently, the number of these centers increased to 55. Purpose of these centers is to disseminate innovative approaches and culture about intellectual property rights such as registration of patents, useful models, brands and designs."
Özer went on to say that, number of products registered in the last 10 years by the school affiliated to his Ministry was 29 and these schools were registering 2,9 products every year. The Ministry set a goal for 2022 as registering 7,500 products and till now, 7,800 products of arts and science centers and vocational high schools are registered.
"Vocational high schools are exporting for the first time in their history. They are exporting masks and paper towels. We took another step. As President Erdoğan announced earlier, we will open 7 international vocational and technical Anatolia high schools. 2 of these schools will be in İstanbul and other will be constructed in cooperation with İTO. This project is carried out in coordination with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Administration for Turks Living Abroad and Related Communities," said Özer.
Özer reminded that amendment made in the Vocational Education Law on December 25, 2021, financial load on employers were lifted and the Ministry has been financing the monthly salaries of vocational education centers.
Apprentices are getting 30 percent of minimum wage and foremen are getting 50 percent of minimum wage as monthly salary and they are also insured against occupational illnesses and accidents. Before the amendment, there were 159 thousand apprentices and foremen in the country and this figure reached 720 thousand. The goal of the Ministry is to enroll 1 million students in these centers until the end of this year.
OECD countries will convene in İstanbul
Özer made an important announcement during his speech.
"After I told the OECD General Secretary about our success stories in vocational education during our meeting, he suggested that we organize a vocational education summit in İstanbul which will be participated by all OECD countries. It will be an organization where we will have the opportunity to mention Türkiye's success stories to OECD countries and which will focus on vocational education. With Allah's permission, we will organize this summit on December 1, 2022 in İstanbul. I am happy to be a part of this success story that achieved to leave the past traumas of vocational education behind and reach a level to talk about its success to other countries," said Özer.
Schooling rate of 5 year old children is 87 percent in İstanbul
Reminding that his Ministry has been implementing a project in order to inaugurate 3 thousand new kindergartens as a part of its goal to reinforce equal opportunity in education, Özer said, "We have been carrying out this project with the support of Emine Erdoğan. Till now, we inaugurated 1,409 kindergartens and 10,200 preschool classrooms within ten months. Schooling rate of 5 year old children increased from 45 percent to 87 percent in İstanbul."

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