According to UNESCO’ s findings, “232 million children in the world are out of school, 750 million children and adults are illiterate, and 18 million refugees are deprived of their right to school. In order to draw attention to these facts and to emphasize the importance of education in sustainable development, January 24 was declared “International Day of Education” by the UN in 2018.
Member unions of Education International, of which KTÖS is also a member, will celebrate the International Education Day with a call for sustainable face-to-face education and to improve the impact of the pandemic on children, and will emphasize the importance of investing in education.
We can clearly state that the budget allocated to education in the north of our island is insufficient. In addition to the inadequacy of the budget, the expenditure per student is well below OECD standards. The average expenditure per student in public education (from primary school to the last level of high school) in Northern Cyprus is 2,437 Dollars. The OECD average in expenditures per student is 10,454 dollars.
Inequalities regarding education of individuals with special needs, migrant and refugee children have also emerged with the pandemic. Although we are in the digital age, basic education continues to contain inequalities of opportunity due to regional factors. Investing in public schools, teachers and students is one of the essential and indisputable issues in order to solve all these problems.
On International Day of Education, it is our union’s responsibility to call upon the post-election coalition government to invest in education, to invest in teachers, and to ensure that no child is deprived of their right to free, quality public education, and to uphold the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals summarized in 17 articles.
The pandemic has shown us clearly that education and health should go in coordination with each other. Regular testing in schools, switching to single seating, accelerating the vaccination process, leaving the planning of education to schools, controlling out-of-school environments, limiting risky activities will make face-to-face education sustainable. It is our duty to take lessons from the first semester between September and February, make the necessary arrangements and enter the second semester with effective epidemic management in schools and ensure that our children receive equal and safe education.
We remind you that;
The election is over. Today is International Day of Education, so let’s focus on education and health!
Let’s protect our children!
KTÖS Education Secretary