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Turkey starts in-person education in villages, kindergartens

With the end of the three-week winter break, Turkey has relaunched in-person education in village schools and kindergartens while remaining students have returned to online education.

“As of this week, we are happy to reunite our students in the villages with their schools. Following this first step, our second move will be to open the doors of our schools for students in eighth and 12th grades on March 1,” Education Minister Ziya Selçuk said at a ceremony he attended in the eastern Anatolian town of Iğdır on Feb. 15.

Turkey decided to shut down the schools in mid-November after a surge in the number of new coronavirus cases across the country.

Selçuk said that works are ongoing to assist each city to make decisions regarding the reopening of schools in line with the course of the fight against the pandemic. The cabinet will meet on Feb. 17 to discuss whether some of the restrictions could be eased in the coming period.

Around 2,700 kindergartens and all the village schools that have more than 6,000 combined classrooms have returned to in-person education, Selçuk said.The ministry has been working on a new guideline under the title of “My school is clean” that details all the hygiene measures to be taken for all schools and educational institutions before they reopen to begin face-to-face education, he added.

“Another important aspect of these measures is the vaccination of our teachers. Lists of our teachers who will return to the schools have been given to the Health Ministry. Issuing of necessary appointments for the vaccinations have started. The first dose will be given to our teachers starting from the end of February,” Selçuk stated.

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