Turkey's kindergarten, first graders start school

Turkey's first-grade and kindergarten students started school on Sept. 21, as schools "reopened" with COVID-19 precautions amid a second peak of infections. While the class schedule has been adjusted to minimize social interaction, parents are free to keep their kids home from school as attendance is not mandatory.

Duvar English - Anadolu Agency

First-grade and kindergarten students in Turkey returned to their classes on Sept. 21 as schools reopened with precautions against the COVID-19 pandemic, as the country has been experiencing a surge in numbers in a "second peak of infections."

Schools closed on March 16 and the 2019-2020 school year was officially declared finished in June, although the Education Ministry started conducting make-up courses virtually in September.

The incoming freshman class are offered to attend school once between Sept. 21 and 25, and twice from Sept. 28 – Oct. 2, according to the Education Ministry.

For the remainder of the days, students will follow their curriculum online or on the television.

It was initially announced that schools would reopen on Aug. 31 but a resurgence in infections postponed the "reopening" to Sept. 21.

Schools will hold five 30-minute classes with 10-minute breaks in between, but parents who are concerned about the well-being of their child can choose to keep them at home, as attendance is not mandatory.

Meanwhile, no one who's not a student or worker of a particular school will be allowed on the premises, the Education Ministry mandated.

Remote classes for first-graders and above will continue to be broadcast online through national broadcaster TRT's Education Information Network (EBA).

While teachers can carry out live lessons, students will be able to develop academic and social skills by downloading apps prepared to improve reading, comprehension, and math skills.

EBA Support Point areas have also been established in schools and various institutions to ensure students lacking a computer or internet access at home can benefit from the courses.

Turkish schools 'not ready' to open for classes on Sept 21, says Eğitim-SenTurkish schools 'not ready' to open for classes on Sept 21, says Eğitim-Sen