Turkish schools reopen amid COVID-19 pandemic
Schools across Turkey will reopen for in-person education five days a week as of Monday with COVID-19 safety measures in place.
Though daily COVID-19 cases are still high (around 20,000), Turkey is relying on its vaccination program to stave off a new surge.
First graders were already in schools last week for an orientation program.
As part of the preparations for the start of the new academic year, pre-school and first grade students participated in the face-to-face integration training on Sept. 1-3. Over 2.3 million students were given training by 165,450 teachers.
About 18 million students and more than 1 million teachers in all grades across the country will attend school five days a week as of Monday.
As part of COVID-19 measures, approximately TL 650 million ($78.1 million) were sent to around 58,000 schools for masks, disinfectants and cleaning needs, while 113,000 cleaning personnel were assigned.
The Ministry of National Education and the Health Ministry will set up a "data integration system" to track the health status of teachers and students. That is intended to facilitate contact tracing if necessary. The education staff will be trained on infection control before the start of the new school year.
In cases of possible infection, the necessary notifications will be issued to the schools.