Distance education during the pandemic

Coronavirus: parents will decide whether or not their children attend class

On September 21, preschool and primary school students in Turkey will start attending class one day a week.

The Minister of Education of Turkey, Ziya Selçuk, has assured that despite the compulsory nature of schooling, parents will have the last word when deciding whether their children return to school or if, on the contrary, they continue to receive distance education from home, a few weeks before the youngest students officially start with face-to-face classes.

“On September 21 we will begin with face-to-face education only for preschool and primary school students. Parental consent is important, and they will be free not to send their children to school for classes in the classroom if they do not want to,” underlined the Turkish minister.

The plan envisaged by the Ministry of Education is that initially face-to-face classes for these students will consist of attending only one day a week to later be expanded from October to two days a week, combining this type of education with online classes for the rest of the days.

Regarding the rest of the students and courses, the minister pointed out that distance education will continue at least throughout the month of September through online courses and broadcasts of the Educational Information Network (EBA) of the Public Radio Television of Turkey (TRT) – which has assumed the task of carrying out distance education since the beginning of the pandemic – and that the option of starting face-to-face classes from the third week of October will be studied depending on the evolution of the coronavirus.

Officially, classes in Turkey began on August 31 only with distance education due to the persistence of coronavirus infections, which has led the government to impose new restrictions including the mandatory use of a mask; many parents had expressed in previous weeks their concern and their reluctance to send their children to class in the face of what the government describes as the “second peak of the first wave” of the pandemic, which is causing more than 1,700 infections a day.