Duvar EnglishTurkey extends remote learning for students until April 30
Over 50 dollars was reportedly withdrawn from the accounts of a number of Turkish teachers after using Zoom upon the request of their school managers.
As part of the measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, Turkey's Education Ministry suspended schools and began remote education through a TV channel called EBA.
School managers and administrators, however, obliged teachers to use Zoom, since 100 people can attend an online meeting at the same time free of charge, to continue classes online, daily Sözcü reported on April 6.
As a result, teachers signed up to Zoom despite significant privacy concerns the app faces in the U.S. via giving their personal information.
The teachers were surprised when they realized that 58.5 dollars was cut from their accounts. According to informative messages they received from banks, the money was spent for shopping at Walmart.
The teachers, however, said that they didn't have any contacts abroad, reportedly prompting Education Minister Ziya Selçuk to have a meeting with 81 Provincial Directorates of National Education.
Zoom is currently under scrutiny in the United States over breaches of privacy.
Last week, at least two U.S. state attorneys had sought information from Zoom following multiple reports that questioned its privacy and security.
Some school districts in the U.S. have started to ban the app for online learning from home because of growing security concerns, while the New York City Department of Education said teachers should instead work through Microsoft Teams, Washington Post reported on April 4.
Reuters also reported last week that Elon Musk's rocket company SpaceX had banned its employees from using Zoom, citing "significant privacy and security concerns."Education Ministry launches probe into cartoon showing execution of former Turkish PM Menderes
Turkey's Education Ministry released a statement later in the day, saying that they have been warning teachers, students and administrators against cyber attacks, while refuting claims of an emergency meeting on the issue.
The ministry also said that should the practice of online classes will be implemented on platforms other than EBA, the users shouldn't login to them with their own social media accounts.
"Our students' cameras must be turned off unless necessary and only the teachers should have the authority to do so. Personal data should not be saved during classes by the teachers and students and should not be shared on platforms," the statement read.