Turkey extends education year until July 2 due to pandemic
Education Minister Ziya Selçuk has announced that his ministry is working on a plan to extend the education year for primary and high-school students to July 2 in a bid to compensate time lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have plans to extend the duration of the schools. Our schools are normally open until July 2 including the seminars [for the teachers] but our students start their summer holiday in earlier weeks. But this time we are planning to keep our students at the school until July 2,” Selçuk told in an interview with the private broadcaster CNNTürk late March 8.
The long-summer holidays for the primary and high-school students normally start in the first or second week of June and ends in mid-September.
Turkey 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 the three channels of the state broadcaster TRT in late March 2020.
With the decrease in the number of cases throughout the country in February 2021, the ministry planned a gradual return to schools in low-risk provinces starting from the last week.
“Around 80 percent of our students in the primary and secondary schools attended face-to-face education. In high schools, this rate was 74 percent. We don’t force anybody to send their children to the schools. This is voluntary,” he stated. “I believe the first week of the face-to-face education was very positive.”
On questions whether the plans can be changed, Selçuk said it was a dynamic process and necessary adjustments will sure be thought of in such a case.
He also informed that more than 80,000 teachers who are taking part in face-to-face education have already been vaccinated and more will get their jabs in the coming period.