Winter break begins for nearly 18 million students

Winter break begins for nearly 18 million students

Winter break begins for nearly 18 million students

Nearly 18 million Turkish students begin their two-week winter break after completing their first semester and receiving their mid-term report cards on Jan. 21.

The mid-term holidays will end on Feb. 6.

Education Minister Mahmut Özer asked teachers not to give homework to children so that both the teachers and the students relax during the holidays.

Reminding that the education season 2020-2021 realized online due to the coronavirus pandemic, the minister stated: “After a year-long break, the students [coming back to face-to-face education] went through the hoop. They got exhausted; they need a vacation.”

Schools in Turkey were closed, while education continued online between March 2020 and June 2021 despite a few attempts to reopen the schools for short periods.

Schools reopened to in-person education on Sept. 6, 2021, with students and around 1.2 million teachers returning to classes. According to the education minister, some 92 percent of teachers have received their first jabs. Around 86 percent of teachers are fully vaccinated.

However, health experts predict the number of COVID-19 cases to peak in the second half of February, noting that human mobility will increase during the winter holidays.

“The number of COVID-19 cases, which is still in low numbers in Central Anatolian provinces, may increase with the start of the winter break, and the Omicron variant may become dominant in these regions as well,” a source told the daily Hürriyet.

In any case, the schools will not be closed again. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca earlier this month reiterated that in-person education would continue. “Schools will not be closed until all the public institutions in the country will be closed.”

The second semester will begin on Feb. 7 and end on June 17. Students will have a week-long mid-term break between April 11 and 15.