Council Meeting of Deans of Education and Educational Sciences Takes Place at CoHE
December 26, 2017 / Ankara
The Council of Higher Education organized the "Council Meeting of Deans of Education and Educational Sciences" in order to discuss education and teacher training on the basis of human and cultural development.
The programs for teacher training in the faculties of education and educational sciences were discussed in the meeting. Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç, President of the Council of Higher Education, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yusuf Tekin, Undersecretary of the Ministry of National Education, CoHE officials and deans of the faculties of education and educational sciences attended the meeting.
CoHE President Saraç made an opening speech entitled "Rethinking Education and Teacher Training on the Basis of Human and Cultural Development". He began his speech by saying that the young people aged 24 and below, which constitute 40% of the population, made a significant progress towards meeting the demand for higher education in terms of quantity.
"The goal in higher education is qualitative growth"
President Saraç emphasized that Turkey was ranked second in 137 countries in the rates of access to higher education and that Turkey's goal to be one of the 10 biggest economies in the world by 2023 could only be achieved with knowledge and qualified human resource.
He noted that 7,764,607 students are enrolled in 184 universities which consist of 112 state universities, 67 foundation universities, and five foundation vocational schools. "As the new CoHE, we have carried out many projects in order to make a structural change. We attach great importance to the establishment of the Higher Education Quality Board and the realization of the ‘Specialization Based on Mission Differentiation' Project among Turkish universities," he said.
He stated that Turkish universities have to assume the role of locomotive in the social, cultural and economic development of the region and underscored that the same situation applies for the faculties of education/educational sciences.
CoHE President Saraç said that a significant part of the structural changes that were related to the Higher Education Law No. 2547 were included in the Production Reform Package and that CoHE had started to work on the secondary legislation.
President Saraç talked about the regulations they have made such as the establishment of the Advisory Board for Higher Education Programs and the Coordination Board for Vocational Schools, the employment of researchers after doctorate, and the extension of the tenure of faculty members, where appropriate, until the age of 75 through annual contracts and said,
"It is clear that we need individuals with outstanding qualities to realize these important projects. Special education and preschool education in the field of educational sciences and teacher training are included in the priority fields.
We have been making some quality-oriented adjustments related to the faculties of educational/educational sciences. In this framework, we have tried to make it possible for some programs to have students that are more competent by making some adjustments in the score types and implementing the requirement of being placed in the first 240.000 people in the success rating. As we have gradually closed down the evening programs, we tried to come up with a more rational planning for the quotas."
"YKS is designed according to the needs of the country"
CoHE President Saraç stated that the improvement in the quality of inputs was of utmost important for quality-oriented growth and development in higher education and said, "In this context, we made some changes in the system for enrolling in higher education which have been on the agenda for the Council of Higher for some time. It was decided to implement the new examination system called Higher Education Institutions Examination (YKS) as of 2018. The new system is arranged as an evaluation process that attaches importance to the achievements of the secondary education, is based on basic proficiency and places Turkish and Basic Mathematics in the center."
He added that the new examination system could compete with the examination systems in developed countries in terms of concept and quality and said,
"At the opening ceremony of the 2017-2018 academic year, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan noted that we still have a long way towards achieving the prescribed goals in the fields of education and culture.
In this context, we emphasize the fact that there should be studies on training teacher candidates in particular with programs that are more equipped and attach more importance to our system of values. The teachers that are currently in the system should also be allowed to go through professional development. The Council of Higher Education, the Ministry of National Education and the faculties of education were given an important responsibility about these topics. We are holding this meeting to determine a roadmap.
In addition to conducting studies in education and training of teacher candidates, we believe that the faculties of education/educational sciences have a very important role and contribute greatly to providing professional development for faculty members at universities and the teachers and instructors that are employed in various institutions, notably in the Ministry of National Education, within the scope of ‘lifelong learning'. We expect more contributions and support in these matters."
He emphasized that it is important to restructure the teacher training system in a way that can respond to the social expectations, demands and needs in order to train people with knowledge, wisdom and virtue and concluded his speech by saying that they had the potential and power to realize that goal.
Click here to read the full transcript of the speech made by CoHE President Prof. M. A. Yekta Saraç. (In Turkish)
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yusuf Tekin, Undersecretary of the Ministry of National Education, also made a speech.
He said that the Ministry of National Education had realized a political chain, ranging from teacher employment to in-service training, in order to increase the qualifications of teachers, adding that they created the "Teacher Strategy Document" to define the process.
He stated that they has been carrying out studies on in-service training of teachers after employment and that they had been making preparations for the establishment of teacher academies.
Yusuf Tekin pointed out that faculty members should keep an eye on the internship process of teacher candidates that are university students. "It appears that a faculty member is responsible for 180-200 students. There is no way to explain this. CoHE limited it to 15 students. I do not want to accuse anyone, but we had faculty members who consulted 180-200 students. This is one of the key reasons why the process has not been proceeding according to our wishes and the wishes of higher education institutions," he said.
Following the opening speeches, CoHE President Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yusuf Tekin exchanged views with the participants.
After the question and answer session, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Şişman, Executive Board Member of CoHE, moderated the panel entitled "Rethinking Education and Teacher Training on the Basis of Human and Cultural Development".
Prof. Dr. Alipaşa Ayas, faculty member of the Faculty of Education at Bilkent University, made a presentation entitled "The Status of Undergraduate and Graduate Programs in Educational Sciences and Teacher Training". Assoc. Prof. Dr. Semih Aktekin, Head of the General Directorate for Teacher Training and Development of the Ministry of National Education, made a presentation entitled "Teacher Competencies and Teacher Training in Practice". Prof. Dr. Ahmet Doğanay, Dean of the Faculty of Education at Çukurova University, made a presentation entitled "The Role and Importance of the Collaboration between Faculties and Schools in the Training of Highly Qualified Teachers". Prof. Dr. Firdevs Karahan, Dean of the Faculty of Education at Sakarya University, made a presentation entitled "Quality and Accreditation Studies in Faculties of Education/Educational Sciences and Teacher Training Programs". Assoc. Prof. Dr. Adnan Boyacı, faculty member of the Faculty of Education at Anadolu University, made a presentation entitled "Inclusive Education and Teacher Training in the Process of Human Development for a Sustainable Society".
The program was concluded with the "Meeting of the Counsel of Deans and Elections."