Duvar English

Turkey’s Council of Higher Education (YÖK) said in a statement on Aug. 13 that it asked universities to start classes after Oct. 1 amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. The YÖK said that universities and their faculty departments will themselves decide if courses will be taught by distance learning or on campus.

“As of today, we asked universities to plan their education calendar starting on Oct. 1,” the YÖK’s statement said. “We have given universities a wide range of options to choose from in order to lower the number of students in campus and reduce their free movement.”

“Based on the epidemic’s regional and local course, our universities’ relevant boards will decide on the implementations that will be undertaken for different programs,” the statement read.

Schools and universities across the country were closed in mid-March as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

On Aug. 12, Education Minister Ziya Selçuk announced that schools will reopen on Aug. 31 with distance learning, but face-to-face lessons will not resume until Sept. 21. Selçuk’s comments came after the Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Science Committee suggested that face-to-face lessons should be postponed for at least a month.

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.