The Chamber of Electrical Engineers (EMO) calls on the political power to "Meet the State for Distance Education Needs for the Future of Our Children" when face-to-face education is suspended again. The right to education is a constitutional right. Today, when the digital and educational gap among our citizens is increasing, this call of EMO will not only be a breath for our children and their families who cut their throats for their education, but also for the computer industry, which provides employment for thousands of people.
As it is known, there are more than 18 million primary, middle and high school students and more than 7 million university students in our country. The coronavirus epidemic forced face-to-face training to be cut for certain periods. It is a fact that face-to-face education is risky for both our students and teachers during the epidemic period. Therefore, especially in terms of primary and secondary education, our children are left without education during this period. Judging by the statements of experts, it should be taken into account that this period can be up to 2 years.
There is a disaster in our country in terms of distance education. A maximum of 48.5 percent of children have fixed Internet at home. Most of them do not have a computer or even a television, and their Internet access speed is around 8.5-10 Mbps.
Therefore, the education of our children is one of the issues that should be handled with priority.
Current problems are as follows;
1. According to the statement made by the Ministry of National Education at the beginning of September, there is currently only 1 million interactive distance education capacity within the scope of Electronic Information Network (EBA). Even if it is thought that it is enough for children to sit in front of the screen for 3-4 hours, this number means that only 7 child out of 8-1 is lucky. It is aimed to increase this figure to 160 million by 2023 with 5 million dollars taken from the World Bank.
2. Internet infrastructure of our country is inadequate in terms of price, capacity and speed. A strong infrastructure has become essential both for the education of our children, for the development of the information and communication sectors, and for our survival, as the epidemic has shown today.
3. Parents working from home have seen the trainings closely for the first time. In the digital age, why are these trainings static rather than dynamic (ie interactive)? Moreover, many experts who analyzed the Fatih Project have reported over the years that the content is insufficient.
4. Devices required for distance education are not available in most homes. Especially in homes with 2-3 children, the device shortage creates a big problem.
5. Our teachers' distance education devices are also missing. No device has been given to any teacher for 7 years.
6. Today, computers and Internet are now a "need" and a "human right". Article 22 of our Constitution also indicates the right to communication.
Then we ask;
1- Why are we waiting? Nowadays, when the epidemic is closing the society to their homes, the interactive distance education capacity of 5 million or more is NOW needed within the scope of EBA. Doesn't our country have a budget of 5 million dollars for our children to increase the capacity to 160 million today? Aren't our children a priority instead of projects with customer or purchase guarantee?
2- Why is the internet infrastructure like this? Where is the regulator of the sector, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK)? The total budget of 10 regulatory and supervisory supervisory boards, which take a share from the central government budget, is 2021 billion TL, and the budget of BTK, which is the regulator of the sector, is 8.43 billion TL, which is more than the total of the other 5.9 higher boards' budgets. In the 9 budget, the total budget of these 2020 higher boards was 10 billion TL and 7.6 billion TL of this belonged to BTK. While the budgets of the supreme boards are covered by the state budget excluding BTK, the BTK budget is the money taken from the turnover of the sector and returned to the state in the form of hidden taxes, on the contrary. While our country's Internet infrastructure is so insufficient, where does BTK use this huge budget it draws from investment resources of the industry every year?
3- Why hasn't a content style in which our children can interactively ask questions and get answers on issues that they do not understand, or instantly see that the answer they give when the subjects are being processed is true / false has not been made in the 10 years since the beginning of the Fatih Project? Today, this kind of content has gained much more importance. Nevertheless, why not try to change the contents and have a dynamic structure?
4- Within the scope of Fatih Project, students would be given devices. Now we see how necessary these devices are. Why is the 5 billion dollars accumulated in the Universal Service Fund not allocated to our students to buy computers?
5- Why are our teachers not given a device? How will teachers without devices do their job? Since these are necessary equipment for the job, they should be provided by the Ministry of Education urgently. The Universal Service Fund can also afford this.
6- Why are SCT and VAT charged from these devices and Internet access? SCT and VAT received from these should be reset immediately.
Many organizations are making campaigns such as suspended tablet and suspended Internet. Although we, as EMO, see these campaigns as positive steps, unfortunately, it does not seem possible to achieve the desired result with these initiatives that can create very small capacities.
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure excludes the loading amount of EBA with 3 operators (Vodafone, Turkcell and Türk Telekom) to children who have Internet at home and offers this as "Free Internet". Yet this is not true. It is not very important whether the EBA quota is paid or free after you pay and get the Internet. On the other hand, the fact that 500 thousand tablets are distributed is meaningless and inadequate, like sticking a small band-aid on a huge wound.
Meeting the computer and Internet needs of children is the primary duty of the state within the framework of Article 42 of the Constitution, stating that "No one can be deprived of the right to education and training". Necessary measures should be taken immediately in this regard and the educational deficiencies of our children should be eliminated.