"5th International Pre-School Education Congress" hosted by Gazi University was opened with a ceremony held on October 18, 2017 at the Mimar Kemaleddin Hall. The theme of the conference was "Strong beginning for every child; cultural diversity and inclusive education in early childhood" and the opening ceremony of the congress was attended by Family and Social Policy Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya.
Prof. Dr. Z.Fulya Temel, the head of Gazi University Department of Preschool Education, said "as a Gazi Univesity, we are very pleased to host the International Pre-school Education Congress". She also added; "We are here to serve children. I wish a participatory, sharing and an equitable world for all children."
Gazi Üniversity Rector Prof. Dr. İbrahim Uslan began his speech by telling the effects of the changes that took place in the social transformation on the family. Uslan emphasized that there is a transformation in the Turkish society from a wide family to a core family. He said; "Today, even, there is not the core family. In the past, three generations of children were in the same room but now 4+1 roomed houses are small for core families. Children's room is separate, guest room is separate, dining room is separate, living room is separate, bedroom is separate... Individuals who we think are family are the people who have blood ties to each other but indifferent to each other as they have separate computers, the television and the rooms."
Rector Uslan who stated that the rapid growth of technology is dangerous in spite of its contributions said; "That the communication converts towards a borderless way, that the popular cultures consumes the national cultures and values rapidly and that large quantities can be directed for certain purposes serves to some emelations. In this frame, children have faced with the danger of turning into individuals who face the popular culture with all kinds of harmful effects."
Uslan, saying that education and training are areas with broad stakeholders, continued as follows:
"There is a wide range of institutions and organizations such as the Ministry of National Education, the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the Ministry of National Education, which is responsible for the sharing of knowledge produced among the stakeholders and the information produced in the universities. That the methods which our teachers and experts use while transferring their knowledge to their stakeholders, the probable stresses and the solutions that are encountered in the transformation of information into practice requires knowledge to be shared. The discussion of these with wide-ranging meetings will open the way for the common mind to produce solutions. I would like to express my hope that the conference, which will take place here today and will last for four days, will provide opportunities for the discussion of these problems in a wide range of ways. I wish the congress to succeed".
Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya stated that it was very meaningful to organize the congress in Gazi University, which was established to train educators in the first years of Republic and which educated specialist trainers in the field. Kaya stated that the development of a country can not be explained only by its economic strength and richness, but also a country should have a prosperous society goal with a happy individual and strong family structure at the same time. Kaya emphasized that one of the main elements of achieving this goal is the value given to children in a country. "The importance of this value and the demonstration of value is to protect our children from risks, to provide healthy, physical, spiritual and social development. We have tasks for all of us besides families in ensuring the healthy development of our children. The issue of ensuring healthy development is becoming more and more diverse, especially in today's world. "
Kaya also noted that the traditional family structure was transformed into the core family structure and she said;
"The share of traditional family in Turkey in society has been around 32 percent 40 years ago, but today this ratio is 16 percent. On the other hand, we are rapidly urbanizing. Forty years ago, the rate of urbanization in Turkey was 61 percent, today it is over 80. In short, today we live a much different life style than yesterday. Today, despite the negativities of rapid change, we have to strengthen the individual and the family in order to turn this change to advantage".
While Kaya stated that they knew that the most effective way of strengthening the individuals was through education, he expressed that the slogan "A strong beginning for every child" in the congressional theme is very meaningful. Kaya who said that we are stepping over the period that the effects of globalization is felt strongly said:
"The widespread use of information and communication means bringing threats as much as facilitating daily life. The most sensitive parts where these threats are directed are our children. Gazi University Rector talked about the family members of different lives in different rooms in the same house. I want to express my regret that I saw family members living in different worlds in the same room. Everyone has a phone in hand and everyone is in a different world on that phone. While the child is playing, the older brother is talking on the phone, and the parents are reading different news. Unfortunately, in these rooms we can be in different lives today with these devices. I believe we should be very sensitive and conscious in this matter. We have to protect our children against preventable risks that their computing and communication tools can cause. We have to increase the awareness of both our children and our families".
After the speeches, Gazi University Rector Prof. Dr. İbrahim Uslan presented a special embroidery handcraft with a traditional carnation motif prepared by Gazi University Faculty of Arts and Design to Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya.