A recent survey revealed that about a quarter of students in Istanbul can't access remote education materials. The most common barrier to materials was revealed to be the lack of technological equipment like phones or televisions.
Esengül Balcı, who researches Islamic sects in Turkey, says that 1 million children are in the hands of sects that target children from poor families who cannot afford education. They provide dormitory and scholarship to young people who come to big cities to study,” Balcı told the daily Cumhuriyet.
Turkish schools are not ready to open, considering the lack of resources to prepare against the COVID-19 pandemic in the classrooms, an Eğitim-Sen representative said. Schools lack help staff and protective equipment, and safe distancing might be an issue, according to the expert.
Turkey's Education and Science Workers’ Union, better known with its abbreviation Eğitim-Sen, revealed that there are some 172 schools in Turkey where COVID-19 cases have been detected. The announcement comes as teachers are holding online make-up classes for the upcoming school year, scheduled to start on Sept. 21.
Turkish Education Minister Ziya Selçuk has said that the occupancy rate of Islamic schools - Anatolian İmam Hatip high schools - has reached 99.8 percent. The statistics drew ire on social media, with hundreds of users pointing to the fact that students who fail to enroll in a high school are automatically placed in İmam Hatip schools.
Turkish President Erdoğan has ordered the country’s education watchdog YÖK to shut down the universities' distance education programs for psychology studies. The move came after Istanbul University’s plan to launch such a program received widespread criticism among psychologists.
Turkish students scored drastically low in the Higher Education Entrance Exams (YKS), scoring below 50 percent in all subjects of the Fundamental Sufficiency Test (TYT). Meanwhile, students gained a mere points 5.5 points out of 40 in math and only 2.6 points out of 20 in science.
A Turkish Coronavirus Science Committee member said that the muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha would determine whether schools could reopen at the end of August. The professor noted that social traffic during celebrations could make infections spike.
A member of Turkey's COVID-19 Science Committee said that if parents voluntarily delayed their kids' attendance in school, they could prevent the spread of COVID-19 that results from congestion. The professor added that another solution would be an online-in-person hybrid curriculum.
Ülkü Doğanay writes: Maybe in January 2016, if the former prime minister, who now resents his colleagues and who kept quiet before the events regarding Şehir University, had remembered that he was also an academic benefiting from free expression, then universities may not have been in the dark position they are in today.
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.
Enrollment in religious-training Imam Hatip schools has been more than the enrollment in the high school Imam Hatip schools. Enrollment in the imam-training high schools fell in the academic year 2018-2019.
A Turkish youth forum launched an interactive online map that revealed the age group's biggest issues during the COVID-19 pandemic to be access to education and to work. The right to health and shelter were referred as the second largest issues.
A recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed Turkey as the leading member country for the portion of youth who are both unemployed and out of school. This number was revealed to be 26.7 percent in February in data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).
A students’ parent representative said that Turkish families are concerned that the government’s reopening of schools is financially driven and has to do with pressure from the tourism industry. Meanwhile, families worry that students taking part in nationwide high school or university exams will put themselves at risk.