By Janet Ekstract
ISTANBUL- Turkey’s Minister of National Education, Ziya Selcuk told Turkish lawmakers that he is hopeful about classroom education restarting in Turkey. Selcuk said: “We are waiting for the conditions to mature to start face-to-face education as soon as possible.” Selcuk made the statement at the 2021 parliament budget debate where the overall budget for education was raised to $26.9 billion, close to 16% of the Turkish government’s 2021 budget. Selcuk explained: “We are increasing our investment budget for areas that we attach special importance to such as the transition to single education and preschool education, earthquake reinforcement activities in schools and the workshop infrastructure of vocational high schools by 84% to 11.3 billion liras.”
The education minister said: “We continue to work on the policies that will shape the next 20-30 years, step by step for a quality and universally competitive education system.”He said that tablet support for students who are unable to access distance education is continuing and that 200,000 tablets would be distributed to students by December 21. In addition, another 300,000 tablets will be distributed through mid-January, he said. The education minister added that close to half a million interactive digital boards were installed in Turkish schools and that the installation of 26,000 interactive boards for about 1,350 schools will be completed by the end of 2020.
Selcuk added that Turkey is one of only four countries in the world to establish a separate TV channel for education. Turkey is currently utilizing the distance learning protocol which began November 20 and is set to continue through January 4. The minister said that remote learning will continue through national broadcaster TRT’s Education Information Network (EBA) channels and live courses while all teachers can implement live lessons through EBA.