TURKEY: Face-To-Face Education A Priority Despite The Pandemic

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By Janet Ekstract

ISTANBUL (TURKISH JOURNAL) – On Thursday, Chairperson of the Turkish Education Association, Selcuk Pehlivanoglu said: “You can’t have students below the age of 15 studying in a remote environment all the time. We cannot afford to keep schools closed.” He added that continuing online education will cause serious problems for Turkish education. Pehlivanoglu also said that distance learning among young learners is not as well retained as in-person instruction.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that schools will reopen in-person education. Koca commented: “It’s not possible for us to compromise in-person education..We will take necessary measures to protect students and their families.”

The Minister of National Education, Mahmut Ozer had previously announced they were determined to reopen schools and will not wait for the pandemic to end. Education experts also insist that in-person instruction is essential and a requirement for Turkey.

Koca reiterated that getting vaccinated is a social responsibility and should not be optional for anyone. He recommended that teachers, students and families be fully vaccinated. The vaccine program was boosted by reducing the vaccination age to 18, Koca added.

Pehlivanoglu explained that a new management system is necessary in Turkey that addresses the issue of the learning app among students who either study online or skipped classes or had to deal with a shorter curriculum due to disrupted studies during the pandemic.He also during the summer the Ministry of Education offered remedial education which Pehlivanoglu said should be mandatory year round.

Both Koca and Pehlivanoglu said parents must be reassured that school is a safe place for their children and said the goal is for all educators to be fully vaccinated. Currently, 60 percent of teaching staff are vaccinated, Pehlivanoglu said.

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