Turkish Education Minister Ziya Selçuk said that they would decide whether classes would be carried out remotely "at the end of August, beginning of September." The academic year is scheduled to start on August 31 so far.
Turkey will be imposing partial curfews on the days when the nationwide high school and university exams will be held on June 20, 27 and 28. The partial curfews will begin at 9 a.m. and last until 3 p.m. on June 20 and 27, whereas it will be in effect on June 28 between 9.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m., the Interior Ministry said.
Turkey's higher education workers find that the country's remote education practice has hurt institutions' autonomy, and has caused a deterioration in the quality of education. "All higher education institutions have been connected to a more centralized, uniform, more hierarchical and imperialistic system," Çukurova University's Prof. Adnan Gümüş said.
Turkey’s two largest education unions said that the use of schoolyards for mass Friday prayers of Muslims was “unconstitutional” as schools are public venues, and should be equally distanced from all faiths. The Education Ministry also assigned teachers to assist in the prayer ceremony by handing out hand sanitizer and ensuring social distancing.
Istanbul’s provincial Education Director Levent Yazıcı said on May 28 that the city would be holding high-school exams (LGS) in socially distanced and disinfected testing centers and that all parties would wear masks. About 280,000 students are expected to take the LGS on June 20.
Education authorities in Adana have sent a letter to school managements asking for money to fund hand sanitizer dispensers installed at the schools amid the coronavirus outbreak. CHP deputy chair Yıldırım Kaya said that this implementation is not specific to Adana, but has been also reported in other provinces.
Istanbul's Medipol University, which is owned by Turkey's Health Minister, has come under fire for requesting video footage of students' home study rooms while they are taking final exams. Following the mounting reactions from students, the university announced that the finals scheduled for May would be postponed to June. However, the announcement did not specify whether or not the students would be monitored.
Turkey's Council of Higher Education announced that all finals for the Spring 2020 semester would be held remotely to avoid further spreading COVID-19 among students. The council also noted that universities could replace finals, along with any other exams left in the semester, with alternative assignments.
The chair of one of Turkey's largest education unions protested Ankara's decision to move up national high school and university entrance examinations, noting that the nationwide event will draw large crowds outside. Education and Science Workers Union (Eğitim-Sen) Chair Feray Aytekin Aydoğan noted that nearly two million students take the high school entrance exams alone, and with the proctors and parents included, nearly eight million people will be on the streets for one day of testing.
Nuray Pehlivan reports: Politicians and education representatives in Turkey agree that the latest amendments to the higher education system make the system less inclusive, as it transfers authority from elected officials to appointed ones. As a result of a recent amendment, chancellors will effectively become the sole authority on hiring academics.
A survey conducted at Ankara University found that 65 percent of students are dealing with higher levels of anxiety and stress due to coronavirus epidemic. The survey also highlighted how difficult it can be for college students to study online as about only half of the students have a computer of their own.
Turkey's largest education union urged the Education Ministry to keep schools closed until scientific evidence surfaces that clearly proves that the COVID-19 threat is passed. The Education Ministry had hinted at June 1 for re-opening schools.
More than 4,000 teachers’ personal information was obtained by hackers during an online training session held by an Istanbul district municipality, daily Sözcü reported. The teachers’ first and last names, unique state ID numbers and e-mails were also published online.
Opposition deputy Tuma Çelik urged the Turkish government to open schools that teach in Assyrian. The Treaty of Lausanne mandates the government to provide education opportunities in minorities' native languages in areas where their population is dense, he noted.
The administration of the İsmail Tarman Imam Hatip Middle School pressures students into religious conformity, parents of the central Istanbul school claim. One parent, whose daughter is Christian, is forced to attend an Islam-focused religion class. Another parent says that teachers tell female students to avoid laughing, dressing "chic" and social media.