Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Educational institutions should become open innovation centers

26.09.2019 / Ankara

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) Turkey Education Council meeting took place at the TOBB Twin Towers with the participation of Education Minister Prof. Dr. Ziya Selcuk, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, TOBB Vice President Selçuk Öztürk and Turkey Education Council President Dr. Yusuf Ekinci. During the meeting, representatives of special education institutions relayed the issues on their agendas to Minister Selçuk.​

TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, at the beginning of his opening speech, thanked Minister Selçuk for the importance he attached to consultation and dialogue. Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “We are pleased to see the difference a Minister from the business world makes and how he is bucking trends. We congratulate him again for his visionary steps.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that education is not a matter of the past or the present, but of the future. Hisarcıklıoğlu said that education is the most influential factor in a person's life. “From primary education to higher education which shapes our lives, people are formed in the education system. Through lifelong learning, training continues until our last breath. The importance of primary and secondary education is undoubtedly important for shaping a person's character; the formation of their view of life. Primary and secondary education forms the basis of a human being, as important as the foundation of a building. Therefore, we must make our children well educated and well equipped starting from kindergarten / day-care center all the way to university. For this reason, primary and secondary education is an area that should never be ignored. We, as the business community, attach great importance to vocational education as well as primary and secondary education.”

- Cooperation in vocational training

Under the leadership of Minister Selçuk, M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that they have taken a step that they have expressed the importance of as TOBB for years. Ministry of National Education, TOBB ETU, TOBB and Chambers and Commodity Exchanges have started cooperation in vocational education. The TOBB President stated that a new and dynamic vocational training model will be prepared according to the characteristics of the sectors today. “Through our Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, we ensure that vocational education is designed in line with the needs of industry, trade and agriculture. With this pilot project, we will expand the public-private joint management model to the whole vocational education system. Thus, the role of the private sector in vocational education will increase.

In short, our young people who graduated from here, will not be intermediary personnel, but instead be sought after.”

- Theoretical education should be mixed with practical training.

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that they attach great importance to private education institutions in terms of quality and competition in education. It reduces the inequality in education and offers equal opportunities. Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “As special educational institutions, we feel responsibility in the upbringing of the youth of today, which will form the future of our country. Human capital is the area we need most to reach advanced levels of civilization in our country. This human capital is composed of young people who have a qualified primary, secondary and vocational education. With this vision, we continue to work as private educational institutions.”

TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that special emphasis should be given to the incorporation of theoretical education into practical education, and asked teachers, students, alumni and business representatives to turn education institutions into open innovation centers. Pointing out the need to solve the problems in industry, trade and agriculture, TOBB President said, “In addition, we should make educational institutions an entrepreneurial center. Because for a more prosperous Turkey, we need more entrepreneurs. The first platforms to ensure this are the primary, secondary and vocational education institutions before university. Believe me, all this is not difficult to implement.

As long as act and work together with common purpose and consultation. That's when all of this and all of the issues we'll be discussing can be addressed promptly. When we provide these, we will raise the success level of our students to the next level. There will be no problem of qualified personnel in our country. Entrepreneurs among our graduates will grow. In our educational institutions, more inventions and more patents will be issued in the field of high technology. We will see Turkey reach its targets thanks to them.”

- Minister of National Education Ziya Selçuk

Minister of National Education Ziya Selcuk reported that new measures related to the problems of private education institutions can be addressed by talking to the sector, consulting, discussing the implementation of the draft file on this issue which will be presented for the opinion of the sector within a few weeks.

Selcuk, in his speech at Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) Turkey Education Council meeting, stated that they’ve individually met with all 53 sectors in Turkey, conducting workshops and as a result, they’ve found the opportunity to determine how best to build a better foundation with regards to education and its relationship with the economy and democracy.

Stressing that education is a process that should cover not only the classroom but the entire lifespan as it was put forth in the 2023 Education Vision, Selçuk reported that they’ve taking into consideration many overlapping factors including exports, foreign trade deficit, distribution of sectors to provinces as well as the vocational school distribution in said provinces, aiming ultimately to put forth a data-based management system.

Stating that unless an overlap between the sectors in the provinces and the departments in schools could be established, a realistic economy-education relationship could not be defined, Selçuk said, “There is a very low significance relationship on this issue, but we can easily upgrade in the next one or two years.”

Reporting that in the last 10 years, while only 29 useful models and patents were presented, this number was found to be over 100 in this year alone, Selcuk, reminded that the private sector was allowed to open vocational training centers two months ago.

Minister Selcuk reported that the rate of the private sector in vocational training in Germany is 84% while this level is only 4.5% in Turkey, and that without legal, hardware, teacher requirements and training infrastructure, the private sector cannot be expected to focus on this field.

Turkey Education Council President Yusuf Ekinci also made a speech at the meeting. At the end of the speeches, the National Education Minister Selçuk was presented a plaque with the Istanbul skyline.

Following the opening speeches, the Education Council Meeting continued with the question and answer department.

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