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More students return to classrooms in Turkey

More students return to classrooms in Turkey

Fifth and ninth-grade students will return to classrooms on Monday for in-person education as Turkey continues to slowly reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After much debate throughout the summer regarding whether it would be safe to open schools, the Education Ministry decided on a slower approach to the issue to assess the viability of in-person classes during the pandemic.

Kindergartners and first-graders were the first to return to classrooms, heading to campuses two days per week starting on Sept. 21.

After the initial opening went smoother than expected, the ministry proceeded with what it called phase 2, this time allowing second-, third-, fourth-, eighth- and 12th-graders to return to classes on Oct. 12.

The decision saw nearly 7 million students return to campuses for the first time since March when the outbreak began and schools were shuttered for the remainder of the previous academic year.

Meanwhile, in-person education days for kindergartners and first-graders were expanded to five days.

After the lengthy list of precautions taken across campuses proved effective with no major outbreaks reported among millions of students, the minister decided to initiate phase 3, which will see fifth- and ninth-graders join fellow students at schools.