Turkey among top five OECD countries with most schools closed due to COVID: Minister
Turkey is among the top five Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries with the highest number of schools closed due to COVID-19 measures, Education Minister Ziya Selçuk said on April 2.
“Of course, our top priority is face-to-face education, but among OECD countries, we are one of the top five countries with the highest number of schools closed. This is an approach stemming from our health priority principle,” Selçuk told reporters.
There is an over 80 percent in-person participation in primary schools and a 76 percent participation in secondary schools, while this figure is around 70 percent in high schools, he stated.
Education authorities want to continue face-to-face education with much higher participation in the upcoming period, the minister said, but also pointed at the fact that the number of novel coronavirus cases has surged in Turkey.
“Of course, we are watching increases [in COVID-19 cases] sadly, but this increase continues in school attendance. Statistics show that it is rising,” Selçuk stressed.
The country ended face-to-face education immediately after the first coronavirus case was spotted in the country in March 2020 and launched online education supported by three channels of the state broadcaster TRT.
With the decrease in the number of cases throughout the country in February 2021, the ministry stepped up for a gradual return to schools in low-risk provinces and resumed in-person education for rural schools and kindergartens on Feb. 15.
On March 2, only kindergartens and primary school students in some provinces, and secondary and high school students in low-risk cities returned to classrooms.