Turkey has provided more than 10.000 university scholarships for African students, out of which 432 were allocated to Ghana.
Thanks to the Protocols signed between Ankara University in Turkey and the University of Ghana, Legon last February, a new avenue is opened for Ghanian university students and scholars to engage in academic life in Turkey as guest students and lecturers.
The Turkish Ambassador to Ghana, Mrs Ozlem Gulsun Ergun, disclosed this at the formal opening of a nursery and kindergarten of the Maarif International School in Accra, which was attended by the Minister of Inner Cities and Zongo Development, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid.
The ambassador said Ghana becomes the eight ECOWAS country where the institution is present.
She said the vision of the Maarif International School Ghana is to become a world class educational institution, through a well-planned teaching program in line with international standards that nurture students to become critical thinkers, unearth their individual skills and abilities while fostering excellence in human development based on common values of humanity.
This, she noted, corresponds to Turkey’s vision to assist Ghana for the realisation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal.
Mrs Ergun pointed out that the implementation of the SDG four (4) on quality education will be decisive due to the cross-cutting nature of this goal, adding that education was key to progress in various areas.
“It is worth remembering that sub Goal 4.2 stipulates the necessity of access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they become ready for primary education.
Indeed, UNICEF describes pre-school education institutions as “best place to start life” and emphasises the need to give equal opportunities to all children,” she stated.
She said “We are determined to continue to be a development partner for Ghana in line with Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of “Ghana Beyond Aid” and other flagship projects.
Improving educational infrastructure and elevating educational capacity of Ghana will certainly be a net direct contributor for the realisation of this vision, the ambassador added.
The ambassador stressed that Turkey’s enterprising and humanitarian foreign policy that takes initiative with the vision of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, illuminates their way to partner with the African nations in line with Africa’s vision of a better continent, as outlined in African Union’s Agenda 2063.
In parallel to their efforts for capacity building and social development, she said they have been providing vocational and technical training opportunities in many walks of life.
The establishment of the Turkish Maarif Foundation (TMF) in 2016 presents another avenue in this regard as the statutory purpose of the foundation is to provide educational services abroad on behalf of Turkey, she noted.
Within its short period in existence, she said the TMF has turned into an education locomotive which has been operating with 314 schools, universities and training centers in 41 countries all over the World.It has been present in 130 schools across the African continent and 63 of them have been operated in seven ECOWAS countries.
An Executive Board member of the TMF, Mr Ahmet Turkben emphasised that the Turkish Maarif Foundation is the only entity which has the authority to establish educational institutions abroad on behalf of the Republic of Turkey.
He said the TMF was established by the Turkish Parliament with a special law enacted on June 28, 2016.
Based on common knowledge and values of mankind, he said the foundation establishes educational institutions, provides quality education services, engages in scientific research and development activities all over the world.
As of November 2019, he said the TMF has been operating in 41 different countries with 317 schools, one university and training centers plus 42 dormitories, adding that more than 35.000 students are currently attending educational institutions of TMF.
The Country Director of the Turkish Maarif Foundation, Mr R. Feridun Elgun said the TMF believes that the qualified and well educated manpower is the basic element for the development of a country.
For this reason, he said the foundation presents an educational vision that encompasses universal values.
“Here in Ghana, he noted that the Maarif International School was offering quality education to the kids whom will contribute to the development of this lovely country in the future.
“In Ghana, Maarif International School under the auspices of Turkish Maarif Foundation promotes teaching and learning through an integrated curriculum of education that fosters excellence in human development, through the common values of humanity.