Turkey’s Education Minister Ziya Selçuk has announced that schools will start to reopen on Sept. 21 in a gradual transition to in-person education and until that time students will continue their education through distance learning.
Selçuk made the comments during a press meeting on Aug. 12 after holding a meeting with the Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Science Committee.
The minister said that distance learning will begin on Aug. 31, when schools had previously been set to open.
He said classrooms will be arranged in accordance with social distancing rules and schools provided with disinfectants and masks. He went on to say that the continuation of face-to-face classes depended on how responsibly families and students behaved.
According to Selçuk, swift measures will be taken if students’ families or nearby circles are diagnosed with coronavirus.
Selçuk’s comments came shortly after Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the Coronavirus Science Committee suggested that face-to-face lessons should be postponed for at least a month amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
In a written statement following the meeting, Koca said that face-to-face education will begin gradually and that online education will be conducted if necessary.
Ankara announced the initial closure of schools in mid-March after the emergence of the first coronavirus cases in the country.
Last week Turkey rolled out new inspection and enforcement rules after daily new coronavirus cases jumped above 1,000 for the first time in three weeks, in what the government called a grave rise during peak holiday season.
Top doctors have warned about insufficient testing and urged a tougher message from Ankara, which lifted a partial lockdown in June and has since lobbied hard for countries to allow tourists to visit to help get the economy back on its feet.
Turkey registers 1,212 new cases of COVID-19
Meanwhile, Koca announced on Aug. 12 that Turkey confirmed 1,212 new COVID-19 cases bringing the tally to 244,392.
He said that 18 more people lost their lives to the virus that has so far claimed 5,891 lives in Turkey.
“The number of patients in critical condition has increased by 15. The spread of the virus is faster at stable environments, such as within families. One patient means a family which has been infected with the disease,” Koca wrote on Twitter.