The Turkish government has decided to re-open schools from September 6 while promised to continue with its vaccination and other health measures.

Turkish authorities are planning to resume full-time face-to-face education in primary-middle-high schools and universities starting September 6 by taking extra health measures.

The Education Minister Mahmut Ozer said on Thursday the country wants to continue full-time face-to-face learning unless health conditions dictate otherwise.

"Education in schools will be carried out without reducing class hours while being committed to the entire existing curriculum," said Ozer.

Amid the pandemic, Ozer stated that it is clear that Covid-19 will not disappear for a long time, and therefore everyone has to maintain their lives by taking the risks of coronavirus into account and taking the necessary precautions.

Furthermore, the minister has said his country does not have the luxury of keeping schools closed any longer, that they have to learn to live with the coronavirus and continue face-to-face education for the development, health and future of children.

Ozer also said vaccinations will not be mandatory but necessary measures will be taken by the Health Ministry.

In the beginning of the upcoming academic year, teachers and other personnel, who are in contact with the students, but who have not yet been vaccinated, will be asked to get PCR tested at least two times a week.

Likewise teachers and ministry staff, unvaccinated university students regularly need to prove for not having Covid-19 with PCR tests.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that PCR tests, which will be mandatory for unvaccinated teachers, staff, and university students when academic activities resume, will be conducted for free at public hospitals.

As of Wednesday, the vaccination rate among teachers who received at least one dose of a two-shot vaccine is 80.34 percent while the rate is 69.73 percent for a second jab.

School administrations will provide masks to students and school personnel free of charge in case anyone needs them.

On the other hand, education in schools will be carried out without reducing the course hours and taking into account the whole of the existing curriculum. School entry-exit times, break times and the process of switching to dual education, especially if necessary, will be organized jointly by the provincial and school administrations according to the physical capacity and availability of the school. 

Support and Training Courses will be given only in 8th and 12th grades. With the opening of schools, canteens, cafeterias and dormitories will also be opened. Adaptation training will be held for the pre-school and grade first students between 1-3 September.

Turkey has administered more than 87 million Covid-19 vaccine doses since launching a mass immunization campaign in January.

According to the Health Ministry, the country confirmed 19,320 new infections and 216 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, while as many as 14,743 more patients recovered.

Source: TRT World