Some students returned to their classes on Monday as schools in Turkey partially reopened amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Schools were closed on March 16, days after the country confirmed its first coronavirus case. The 2019-2020 school year was officially declared over in June.

It was initially announced that schools would reopen on Aug. 31. However, a resurgence in infections postponed the reopening to Sept. 21 on a reduced scale.

Now, only kindergarten and first-year students will go to school for a few days.

Only preschoolers, first graders will attend classes once a week

They will attend classes once between Sept. 21 and 25, and twice from Sept. 28 – Oct. 2, according to the Ministry of National Education. And for the remainder of the days, they will follow their curriculum online.

There will be five 30-minute classes with 10-minute breaks in between.

If any parents are concerned about the safety of their children, attendance in the school will not be mandatory.

Meanwhile, education for first-graders and higher will continue online through national broadcaster TRT’s Education Information Network (EBA).

While teachers can carry out live lessons, students will be able to develop academic and social skills by downloading apps prepared to improve reading, comprehension, and math skills.

EBA Support Point areas have also been established in schools and various institutions to ensure students lacking a computer or internet access at home can benefit from the courses.

Turkey developed the EBA this spring after the country switched to distance learning for middle and high schools as part of the measures to halt the spread of the novel virus.

* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

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