Turkey to integrate remote education permanently into schooling system

Turkish Education Minister Ziya Selçuk has said the country is working to integrate remote education, introduced as part of COVID-19 measures, permanently into the school system.

Teachers in the country have been very devoted, allowing remote education to succeed, Selçuk said in a statement issued on the ministry’s website on Saturday.

Turkey launched a system of remote education via online live streams and television broadcasts on March 23 as schools were closed as part of efforts to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Some teachers want remote education to continue after Turkey’s post-pandemic normalisation, the ministry statement said.

“We are in the process of developing a project to integrate remote education as a regular part of the Turkish education system in coming years,” Selçuk said.

Teachers told the minister on a video call that they used school facilities they personally dropped off homework to students’ homes, brought gifts to students during Eid holidays and conducted classes on the phone for students with special needs.

Some teachers said they visited their students at home and talked to them from a distance.

A vocational school attended the meeting from their mask-sewing workshop.

Some students used their time exempt from the curfew Turkey imposed on minors to visit their teachers at schools and attend the video call.

Turkey is planning to reopen schools in September, with an optional short two- or three-week summer school in August.

The remote education system will integrate playtime and non-academic studies to allow for socialisation among pupils, Selçuk said.