The first point I would like to mention about the reform in education is that we need to protect our basic knowledge, concepts, institutions and theories about education. It is a good thing that you, as Macedonia, have left behind 75 years of your Pedagogical Institute. In my country, Turkey, there was an institute called Pedagogy Institute, which was opened at Istanbul University about 90 years ago. Unfortunately, we closed this institute later; Or rather, we changed the name. On this occasion, I would like to say that there should be things that we should not change, that is, we should protect, as much as what we try to change in education.
Today, in many countries in the world, there is a blockage in education reforms. Indeed, it is difficult to say that reform efforts are beneficial for education. Indeed, especially in the last quarter century, the educational reforms did not contribute to culture, economy and politics in a concrete way. Therefore, the expression “reform in education” could not go beyond being a discourse that had no effect as expected. Because there has been a vicious circle in recent education reform efforts. This vicious circle can be explained as follows: Until about half a century ago, certain problems related to education were mentioned. What were these problems? Centralization. Authoritarianism. Hierarchy Tight control. Tight control. One-of-a-kind education. Monopoly. Dependence. So, what were the ideals on the agenda regarding education? Liberation. Originality. Variation. Differentiation. dynamization. Localization. So, what has been done about education, especially in the last quarter century? Standardization has increased. Accreditation became widespread. The quality movement became widespread. Digitization has increased. Technologicalization became widespread. Well, after all these studies, what was observed in the last quarter century? Centralization in education has increased even more. Monopoly in education has also become more widespread. Uniformity in education became widespread.
In this process, both the teacher and the student lost their freedom. In the same way, originality in education has decreased. Education was more molded. In other words, freedom in education has decreased. The recent reform efforts in education briefly followed this cycle. What else happened in this process? Education began to be changed not because it was needed, but because large companies and companies wanted it. For this reason, developing and underdeveloped countries were advised to reform because of how backward they were. In the face of these suggestions, societies and countries tried to change their education. The game looks like this. The system is constantly seen as inadequate and weak in certain dimensions. It is then forced to be replaced. For example, the teacher’s incompetence is mentioned; followed by teacher training is recommended. The inadequacy of programs and textbooks is mentioned; then they are requested to be changed. Another issue is that the frequent change in education has weakened the education culture. The fact that education is subject to frequent changes prevents institutionalization. However, education exists with institutionalization. As such, it should be a value not to change but to change education for today. In other words, sensitivity should be shown for the immutability of education. For this, instead of determining what will change as always, it should be essential to determine what will not change and to ensure this.
Another reform proposal that does not fall off the agenda is about resources, namely money. In other words, it is always on the agenda to increase resources by addressing the scarcity of resources allocated for the improvement of education. This is an old way of thinking. There were times when it was true, of course. However, the scarcity of resources is not used today because it is true, but for companies and companies that want to make money to earn more. For this reason, when any reform proposal comes to the fore in education, it should first be questioned whether the reform in question is very much related to money, and then, if it is, the reform should be approached with suspicion. Another point is that the package of suggestions about the teacher and teaching should be known that improving teaching and teaching aside, molds it, makes it shallow and artificial. The steps taken to improve the teacher somehow result in the restriction of the teacher’s freedom. For this reason, attention should be paid to the suggestions about the teacher and teaching. It should not be forgotten that the steps taken for this cause objectify and mechanize teaching to a certain extent. In addition, it should be known that the emphasis on teaching, that is, the method, weakens the real basis of education and training. By overemphasizing the method, we may have taken the risk of neglecting the real foundation, namely language, science, and mathematics. Another important point is that; Education is increasingly recognized as an international issue. Yes, a certain degree of education is an international and global issue, especially today. However, education is primarily a local and national issue or is an issue. Well, when education is a national issue
What if it is treated as an international issue? There is alienation from the concrete realities of education. Therefore, education should first be addressed as a local and national issue; then it should be considered as an international issue. For educational reforms, the knowledge and perspective of educational science should be utilized more. Today, the science of education has turned into a divided and multi-part structure. Thus, the long-standing integrity of educational science has been disrupted. While educational science was comprehensive and powerful, it could offer an objection to educational reforms. However, educational science cannot offer a perspective on educational reforms since it has been divided, fragmented and weakened for a long time. In this way, in the absence of a theoretical and strong educational science, education becomes a field that dares to be changed and intervened publicly. Educational reforms should be education, learning and school based. In other words, reform in education should always start with school, learning and teaching and end with learning. And finally, attention should be paid to the redemption and development implications seen in educational reforms. It should not be forgotten that the reform steps that started with the liberation are not realistic. No one can save anyone. Therefore, especially teachers and students should be convinced that they can save themselves before others. During the epidemic, we observed closely that the educator left the school just like it came out of the bottle. Just as it is not possible to put the genie out of the bottle back into the bottle, education should not be brought back to school just because the epidemic is over. Education should continue outside the school from which it came.
Schools had to be closed due to the pandemic. When conditions improved, it was tried to be opened. The closure of schools has created a substantial education gap. Education should not be stuck with schools being open or closed. Schools should always be open for education. It should be open for living and producing, not just for lectures. Society should be open, not just students. It should be open all the time, not only in certain periods, but also in summer and winter, day and night, on weekdays and weekends. Education is a humble, simple field. For this reason, Education should not be shown too much, that is, it should not be explained. Because the more it is shown, the more it becomes fake. It should be known that education becomes artificial as it is tried to be shown. In this sense, there should be no display (exhibition room) and arrangement works (decor) for display in education. The last point I want to mention is this: We should know that education does not change, it changes. Society changes, culture changes, life changes, and then education changes. However, let’s not forget that trying to change education can be an unnecessary compulsion.