Classes begin in 71 provinces

Classes begin in 71 provinces

Classes begin in 71 provinces

Schools in 71 provinces have opened on Feb. 20 after a two-week extended semester break due to the quakes in Kahramanmaraş. More than 54,000 students who were transferred from quake zones to other provinces are also starting classes. Experts warned teachers to talk about the earthquake before classes begin.

“At the initial meeting, calmly talk to students about the disaster and the hard times we are currently going through, while reassuring them that they are safe now,” said Ege University Psychological Counseling and Guidance Department Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Zeynep Cihangir Çankaya.

“Do not leave questions about the earthquake unanswered, do not dodge them, do not try to distract the students with something else. Try to avoid expressions such as ‘I don’t know,’ ‘I hope not,’ ‘Never mind,’ etc. Don’t say such things,” she added.

“Gently encourage them to talk about their feelings. Express your fear and sadness, try not to seem anxious. Tell them that feeling like this is normal, and help them express their emotions,” she informed.

She emphasized the importance of embracing bereaved children and making sure that their friends support them as well as their teachers.

“It may take time for them to focus on what you are saying in class. If they have difficulty focusing, explain that this is to be expected. Continue with your usual routine without being too strict. Let students experience the sadness while still maintaining their routine. They will also realize that learning and focusing is good for them during this process,” she said.

“Observe the students. Inform the school counselor about the ones who seem more anxious, depressed, absent-minded, and less cheerful than expected. Work with the school counselor for students who are having a hard time with the classes,” she recommended.

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