Preschool education helps prevent crime: Minister

Beyazıt Şenbük – ISTANBUL

Preschool education helps prevent crime: Minister

Individuals who have access to preschool education have a lower rate of involvement in crime, Education Minister Mahmut Özer has stated.

“Preschool education does not only increase individual skills. We don’t only strengthen equality of opportunity by focusing on preschool education, but we also invest in raising a generation in a much better-equipped way and in becoming a much more assertive Türkiye in the second century of our republic,” Özer told reporters at Language, Culture and Civilization Awareness Seminar organized for the sixth time to contribute to the professional development of teachers in Istanbul.

Citizens who received preschool education often pursue higher education and get well employed, thus lowering crime rates in the country, he noted.

The minister also pointed out that the schooling rate for 5-year-olds is currently 98 percent in Türkiye. “Our goal is to increase the rate above the OECD average.”

When asked about the recent discussions about giving free meals to students, Özer answered, “Currently, 1.8 million students eat for free, of which 400,000 are our preschool students.”

More than 16,000 classes in kindergartens were opened in a year within the scope of the “10,000 Schools in Primary Education” project, he stated earlier.

The project was implemented by the ministry in a bid to strengthen equality of opportunity in education by reducing differences coming from a lack of resources between schools.

“When we started this project, we set out to build 3,000 kindergartens in a year,” Özer said. “We built 2,321 independent kindergartens in one year.”

“We provided 16,100 classes to various kindergartens. Normally, five classes correspond to one kindergarten. Therefore, 16,100 classes correspond to 3,220 independent kindergartens,” the minister explained.

In the last 20 years, the schooling rate has exceeded 95 percent for the first time in the history of the country, proving that human capital has been utilized in the most efficient way in the last two decades, he added.