Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer made a press statement after the Coronavirus Scientific Committee Meeting. Minister Özer said, “Everyone has a duty to ensure that our schools do not close again. Our schools should be the first to be opened and the last to be closed.” Emphasizing that “Face-to-face education is no longer a choice, it has become a necessity. We cannot ask for more sacrifices from our children. We have taken and continue to take the necessary steps.” made the statement. September 3, 2021 00:24
Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer also attended the Coronavirus Scientific Committee Meeting chaired by Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.
Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer made a statement to the press after the Coronavirus Scientific Committee Meeting.
Özer expressed his gratitude to the members of the Ministry of Health and the Science Board, who guided, helped and coordinated the opening of schools to face-to-face education 5 days a week.
Expressing that Kovid-19 has negatively affected all areas from social life to education since the moment it took the world under its influence, Özer said; He explained that they are working in coordination with the Ministry of Health and the Scientific Committee to ensure that students, teachers and education workers are minimally affected by the epidemic, and that they make decisions by prioritizing health.
Reminding that international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF stated that it is vital that education continues uninterruptedly, Özer emphasized that no matter how successful distance education may be, it should never be forgotten that it cannot replace face-to-face education.
Özer stated that today it is essential for children to be educated with their friends and teachers in a classroom environment, and that face-to-face education has become a necessity rather than a choice, and stated that no more sacrifices can be demanded from children.
Mask, disinfectant and cleaning materials support for schools
Explaining that they continue to take the necessary steps for face-to-face education with the Ministry of Health, Özer said, “We have sent the Guide to Measures to be Taken at Schools in the Kovid-19 Epidemic, which we created together with the Ministry of Health, to our 81 provincial national education directorates and all our governorships. In addition, we sent their needs to all our schools and provinces regarding the mask, disinfectant and cleaning materials needed in our schools.” he said.
Referring to the support provided for cleaning materials, masks and disinfectants for schools, Özer said:
“In the preparation period for the 2021-2022 academic year, we have sent 650 million Turkish lira to all our provinces and all our schools so that our schools can be prepared for this process. In the 2020-2021 academic year, 223 million lira was sent to all our schools. In other words, we have provided our schools with an allowance of about 3 times this amount, and we have made all kinds of preparations for providing a hygiene environment in our schools, from masks to disinfectants, and to the purchase of cleaning materials in the school. Again, we have completed the assignment of 81 thousand cleaning personnel for approximately 58 thousand schools in our 113 provinces.”
Integration education week in schools
Özer stated that the Ministry of National Education has the power and financial resources to meet the hygiene needs of schools during the epidemic process, and continued as follows:
“Education starts on September 6, but integration week has started as of yesterday for pre-school and first graders. Our little students started school for the first time. In this context, a total of 2 million 359 thousand 422 pre-school and first grade students have been going to their schools for 2 days. A total of 165 thousand 450 teachers for these preschool and first graders have started to actively teach and participate in the integration week this week. I would like to express with pleasure that this 2-day process was completed without any problems. Believe me, the happiness in our children's eyes, the pleasure of meeting those teachers, as well as the pleasure of meeting the students of our teachers were worth everything, all kinds of sacrifices."
Reminding that the doors of the schools will be opened to students of all grades and grade levels as of September 6, Özer said, “I would like to once again call on all our parents, teachers, auxiliary support personnel and administrative staff so that our schools never close again and education is not interrupted. Please, let's strictly follow the rules that we have determined as the Ministry of National Education together with the Ministry of Health. Let's follow these rules so that our schools do not face the problem of closing again. As a final word, I would like to emphasize once again that our schools should be the first places to be opened and the last to be closed.” he said.
Electronic tracking system for the epidemic in schools
Özer shared the following information on the content of the new electronic tracking system established within the Ministry:
“As we announced in the past weeks, we have established an electronic system that monitors the case, contact and vaccination status in all our schools in all provinces, districts, towns and villages, and all the information we have received in coordination with our Ministry of Health on a school basis. We have also opened this electronic system to our schools, our administrators there, our district national education directors, our provincial national education directors will be able to make the necessary precautions or situation assessments in the electronic system very easily. Of course, great effort here belongs to our Ministry of Health. Because our Ministry of Health shares all the data with us instantly. Therefore, we have the opportunity to monitor who should do PCR, their health status and other issues from the electronic tracking system.”
When asked about the process that will happen if the unvaccinated teachers and staff reject the request for PCR, Özer said that he did not think that the teachers and staff, who have been working hard during the epidemic for 1,5 years, could come to the school environment without having a PCR test.
Özer concluded his speech as follows: “The education integration week of pre-school and first graders has started, and education continues for 2 days. Approximately 2,5 million students and approximately 165 thousand teachers are currently in the field. Even if there is no vaccine, there is no problem related to PCR that has come to us. I believe that our society will overcome these processes and problems by working hand in hand with all its stakeholders.”