Mahmut Özer, Deputy Minister of National Education, told a newspaper about his post-epidemic plans for R&D centers established in vocational high schools. Özer said, “We will have approximately 20 R&D centers. Each center will focus on a different area. ”
The interview of Deputy Minister of National Education Özer is as follows: “We are now going to the R&D period in vocational education” Deputy Minister of National Education Özer stated that this will be one of the most important achievements of covid-19 outbreak in vocational education, We will add new ones considering the distribution. We will have approximately 20 R&D centers. Each center will focus on a different area. For example, one center will only deal with software, while another will focus on biomedical device technologies. Its main focus will be on product development, patent, utility model, design and trademark production, registration and commercialization. We will constantly increase the product range. We will now conduct our teacher trainings at these regional R&D centers. ” Stating that the vocational education curriculum will be updated quickly after the process for automation, software, artificial intelligence technologies and digital skills, Özer emphasized that R&D centers will contribute significantly in updating.
The Ministry of National Education (MoNE) started a big attack in the days of fighting the kovid-19 outbreak. A large number of products were produced from the disinfection materials needed before the school, from the mask, from the face protective trench to the disposable gowns and overalls. In this way, MEB made very important contributions to the prevention of the epidemic in the first days of the struggle. Then he continued the production of mask machine, air filtration device, video laryngoscope device from respirator. In this process, which shows the importance of strong vocational education, Deputy Minister of MoNE Mahmut Özer explained what kind of vocational education planning would be after the outbreak of kovid-19.
'We were negatively affected'
During the days of fighting Kovid-19, vocational training gave a successful examination. What do you plan for the future of vocational education, which also has an incredible experience?
Vocational education has been making an important contribution by training the human resources with the professional skills required by the labor market for many years in our country. Vocational education had a depressed period especially after the coefficient application. In this period, vocational education has ceased to be the choice of academically successful students. In the following years, a second shock was experienced in the application of placement points to all high schools. What happened after the coefficient application started to repeat, vocational education again turned into a compulsory option for the relatively unsuccessful students. These processes negatively affected the morale of our managers and teachers in our vocational high schools. Vocational education has become known for problems, student absenteeism, and disciplinary offenses. As a result, the graduates' inability to meet the expectations of the labor market reinforced the negative perception towards vocational education. Therefore, there was a serious loss of self-confidence in vocational education.
Is self-confidence seriously regained in this process?
Exactly. The most important contribution of this process was to regain self-confidence in the old prestigious days of vocational education. He showed what he could do when his problems were resolved, given opportunities and motivated. In this process, it came to the agenda with its production and production capacity, not with vocational education problems. As national and international media organizations place more success, self-confidence increased. As the belief in what they can do, produce, and what they produce is valuable, success came with it.
'Every center will focus on one area'
Will the R&D centers be permanent in the days after the Kovid-19 outbreak?
In vocational education, we are now going through the R&D period. This will be one of the most important achievements of Kovid-19 outbreak to vocational education. In this process, we will add new ones to the R&D centers we have established, taking into account the regional distribution. These studies are about to be completed. We will have approximately 20 R&D centers. Each center will focus on a different area. For example, one center will only deal with software, while another will focus on biomedical device technologies. The centers will be in constant communication with each other and will support each other. These centers will also be centers of excellence. Its main focus will be on product development, patent, utility model, design and trademark production, registration and commercialization. We will constantly increase the product range. We will now conduct our teacher trainings at these regional R&D centers. These centers will also contribute significantly in updating the vocational education curriculum.
Their trust increased
Can we say that the investments made by MEB in vocational education for the last two years have yielded fruit?
Yeah. As a ministry, we really focused on vocational education. We have realized very important projects one after another. Most importantly, for the first time, we have carried out intense and comprehensive cooperation with strong representatives of the sectors in all fields of education. Therefore, the confidence of the sectors in vocational education has increased gradually. All these steps enabled a rapid, collective and dynamic response to be produced in this process.
How will you plan from now on?
We will continue to strengthen the education-production-employment cycle in vocational education. We will constantly update the training in a stronger cooperation with the labor market. We will make our vocational high schools the centers of production. We will continuously increase the production capacity of products and services, especially within the scope of revolving funds. For example, in 2019, we increased the income obtained from the production made within this scope by approximately 40 percent to 400 million TL. In 2021, our target is 1 billion TL production. The most important issue is to improve the employment capacity and employment conditions of graduates in the labor market. The collaborations we have established with the sectors with employment priority were our first steps towards this. These steps will continue to get stronger.
'All the products we focused on were produced'
You have established R&D centers in vocational high schools. What was the purpose?
The contribution of vocational training in the days of combating Kovid-19 was twofold. The first stage involved mass production and delivery of needed mask, disinfectant, face protection trench, disposable apron and overalls. This stage was very successful and productions in this context are still going on. The second phase focused on the design and manufacture of devices such as respirators and mask machines needed to combat the kovid-19. In order to be successful in the second stage, we established R&D centers within our vocational and technical Anatolian high schools in our provinces with strong infrastructure. We strengthened the infrastructure of our R&D centers for the design and production of these products. Very intensive studies were carried out in these centers we established in our cities such as Istanbul, Bursa, Tekirdağ, Ankara, İzmir, Konya, Mersin, Muğla and Hatay. In these centers, we were able to produce all the products we focused on. In this context, many products were designed and produced such as surgical mask machine, respirator, N95 standard mask machine, video laryngoscope device, intensive care bed, air filtration device, sampling unit.
Cooperation with ITU-ASELSAN
Considering the curriculum update, will you make new updates, considering that the labor market will turn out after the Kovid-19 outbreak?
Of course. After this process, there will be a rapid curriculum renewal for digital skills. We do not think of vocational and technical education institutions as institutions where only skills training is provided. We want all our students to gain key skills so that they can adapt to changing technological and social conditions. We want to reduce the separation between vocational and general education over time. Therefore, we cooperate with both technically and academically strong organizations such as ITU and ASELSAN. In all professions we provide training, the skills needed according to the technological level of the field in the labor market will be included in the curriculum. However, we will not be satisfied with this, we will also work to strengthen the general skills of our graduates.