Schools to resume on Aug 31, method to depend on outbreak situation: Minister

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Schools in Turkey will reopen on Aug. 31, but the method to how this should be done and how schedules will be drawn will depend on advises from authorities and the course of the coronavirus outbreak, Education Minister Ziya Selçuk has said.

“What will happen the week the schools reopen is not known yet. We’ve been preparing for months and we’ve made the plans as though they will open on Aug. 31. We’ve set a calendar due to some legal and financial processes. We’re announcing these dates so that everyone can get prepared accordingly,” he said at a press conference on July 9.

“Providing education to children is a fundamental right. If we do not follow this, we will be taking away this fundamental right of education from children. Parents should keep this in mind. But the health of our children and teachers is also of prime importance to us,” he added.

Distance learning and a hybrid model are also among alternatives, Selçuk said.

If the government decides to open schools on Aug. 31, the Education Ministry is ready, he added.

“If they say do not open them for a while, continue with distance education, we are ready for that too. If they say try a method of reduced hours, we are ready for this too,” he added.

This will also apply to private schools and they will undergo thorough thinking on whether face-to-face education should resume.

As part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, Turkey shut down primary, secondary and high schools on March 16 and launched a distance learning program on March 23 for around 18 million students.

Schools in Turkey will reopen under strict rules laid out in a guide the country’s Health Ministry has released.

School buildings will be washed down thoroughly before the education term starts on Aug. 31. Education facilities are required to have the necessary equipment to screen for fever and masks or hand disinfectants as well as cologne, as part of the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Schools need to make necessary arrangements to allow only one person in four square meters of space. In classes, study rooms and refectories, people will be required to stand one meter apart from each other.

Hurriyet Daily News

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