Resumed in-person education in Turkey aims at meeting the social, emotional needs of children who were away from their peers during distant education as part of the COVID-19 measures, the country’s national education minister said on Thursday.
As of next Monday, education will be tried to be enriched mainly with social, emotional, physical, cultural, and artistic activities, Ziya Selcuk told an introductory program for remedial education in Istanbul.
Turkey resumed in-person learning for primary school students as of June 1 in line with its efforts to return to normalcy, while secondary and high school students will start going to school as of June 7.
While those living in populated cities will go to school two days a week, students in villages and sparsely populated settlements will go five days a week.
Selcuk also said that even though in-person education has started, attendance at the classes is not compulsory as most of the topics are covered during distant education.
He said they are trying to overcome skill gaps of the children caused by the pandemic and added that first-grade students have no problem in reading, but their writing skills will be worked on during face-to-face education.
The minister said the 2020-2021 academic year will end on July 2, and schools will decide their roadmap according to the needs of their students.
All kinds of resources are ready, Selcuk said, adding that a part of them are allocated for children who need remedial education.
He noted that all materials for remedial education are prepared after the pandemic and a summer holiday book is published for students.
Last year, a parcel consisting of 14 books was sent to around 1.5 million students in villages and rural areas, he said, adding that this distribution will be repeated this year.
The summer holiday book was also sent to 5.5 million children, he recalled.
While the schools are closed during the summer holiday, Selcuk said children can benefit from many activities such as basic science camps, English reading courses, theater, movie screenings, reading activities, children’s games, and mind games tournaments.