MINISTER SELÇUK: YOUR HEALTH HAS PRIOR IMPORTANCE FOR US"Minister of National Education Ziya Selçuk noted that the Ministry has prepared detailed reports about current health status of teachers and we have information about all teachers who have chronic diseases or over 60 years of age adding that, "We will offer all kinds of assistance for our teachers in order to allow them to carry out their profession with minimum risk."
Minister of National Education Ziya Selçuk addressed teachers and school principals via the Education Information Network (EBA) on the occasion of the beginning of the vocational development program. Noting that teachers are back to schools after a long break, Selçuk began his remarks by saying welcome to teachers. Minister Selçuk emphasized that the sacrifices of teachers during the pandemic revealed how people sacrificed for the education community and held it high esteem and said, "You maintain communication with your teachers and their parents day and night. Some of you tried to establish classroom environment at your own homes with your own opportunities while some of you delivered lesson materials to students who need them. Sometimes, you put the needs of your students before your own needs. Vocational high schools, public education centers and BİLSEMs made a contribution not only to the education community but also to the society by producing urgently needed products such as masks, face shields and disinfectants. You work for the society were as hard as you worked for your students; some of you became volunteers in the Vefa Support Groups. May Allah bless you all. I know that some of you kept on communicating with your students during the summer holiday. Some of you started your profession as a part of distance education during this pandemic. The pandemic showed us the great power in us."
Reminding that teachers did not stay home during the most risky days of the pandemic and worked night and day in order to produce class videos for students or participate in live classroom applications, Minister Selçuk stated, "It seems that distance education will become a part of our profession. We have achieved digital transformation due to the pandemic conditions. Despite the lack of sincerity of face to face education in this rapid transformation, majority of teachers kept pace with distance education. Suggestions and project propositions and offers of teachers during weekly online meetings have shed a light to our path. Thanks to the support of teachers, we are opening the new school year with more power. I appreciate your efforts to reach your students and I would like to thank you once more."
"Your health is of prior importance for us"
Minister Selçuk noted that the Ministry has been working and taking steps in an effort to allow students to go back to school and receive education in a healthy environment under these extraordinary conditions. Pointing out that the Ministry has been carrying out cooperation with many state offices and agencies, Selçuk stated, "Among these steps is the guide we prepared within the framework of the Cooperation Protocol Concerning the Development of Hygiene Conditions and Prevention of Infection in Education Institutions. In addition to this guide, we also prepared special guides for students, administrators and teachers. I specifically request you to read these guides and give guidance to your students and their parents. You must have high awareness in order to carry out this process in the healthiest way possible."
"Your health is of prior importance for us. Due to this reason, the Ministry has prepared detailed reports about current health status of teachers and we have information about all teachers who have chronic diseases or over 60 years of age. We will make things easier for our teachers in order to allow them to carry out their professional activities with minimum risk. In addition to that, we will trace our teachers, students, school bus drivers and school cleaning staff via HES codes in order to provide the healthiest and safest environment for face to face education and make notifications to school administrations in case of any risk by using the software we have developed in cooperation with the Ministry of Health. Of course, we are not going to open schools before we achieve the required hygiene standards. We are establishing EBA Support Points for teachers and students. With this project, we are aiming at offering technical equipment that teachers and students may need. We are also working in an effort to reduce the number of students who could not reach distance education to a minimum." Selçuk asked teachers to establish communication with teachers and parents who could not attend the live classroom application in order to check their academic, social or emotional needs.
"Working for the welfare of a child is the start of the journey to a high level"
Noting that they are working in order to prepare a better future for students by reinforcing skills, perception and opportunities of teachers, the Minister of National Education Selçuk said, "We have seen during the pandemic that our people from different professions worked at the cost of their own lives for serving the public. Such hard times are the historical opportunities for increasing the respect for own profession. This test will show people whether we are idealist people who work under hard conditions or use excuses for not doing our duties. We are the grandchildren of forefathers who did everything under impossible conditions for their country. We will follow in their footsteps. Labor is sacred. Working for the welfare of a child is the start the journey to a high level. Despite hard conditions, we will keep working with a smile. Please do not withhold your smile from each other and from students."
Calling on teachers to protect their students, Selçuk went on to say that: "Teaching is not only a way of making a living, it is a tool to reach maturity and a way of testing your manners about reaching and touching a child's life. Keep working until your inner voice says enough. It is hard to withhold the rights of a child. You have to get the blessing of your students. Thanks to Allah, we are on this path and our hearts are set on working more. We will continue to work and we will never stop."
"Our duty is to help children to adapt new conditions"
Ziya Selçuk stressed that his greatest wish is to open schools in the new school year, perform teaching profession under normal conditions and see students at classrooms rather than in front of television or computers adding that, "School is not only about curriculum, it is a stage of life and a socialization environment. All parts of the society saw that school and teachers have great roles in this stage. If there are any students or parents who did not understand this, it is the right time. Teachers are the greatest supporters of parents. Parents have rightful concerns. You teachers are professionals beyond being parents. Our duty is to reduce the uncertainty feeling for the welfare our students, support parents who have concerns and help students to adapt to new conditions."
Our profession requires high awareness and consciousness. We have the opportunity to help children and their parents. The relations we established will make this mission easier. It is very important for our children to go to school, to have contacts with their friends and to establish moral ties with their teachers. It is crucial to be face to face for the establishment and continuation of this tie. However, this can only be possible in a healthy environment. This important experience we all experienced together showed us once again that we can renew ourselves, catch the spirit of time and what we can achieve under hard conditions when we come together. We will be with you in the field during this process. We will be hand in hand and heart to heart in order to maintain conditions for a healthy and productive schools year for your students, parents and teachers. I would like to thank you for your contributions for the future of our country, for your efforts to maintain health conditions and wish a healthy, productive and successful school year."