With Turkish education institutions set to move to the second stage of in-person learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, preschoolers are also to receive face-to-face education, the Education Ministry said Thursday. 

According to the ministry, all preschool education institutions are to provide in-person education five days a week with six hours of activity time per day.

The ministry sent a written statement to all 81 provinces of Turkey providing details on the second phase of in-person lessons beginning as of Oct. 12.

Grades 1, 2, 3 and 4 along with middle school students in grade 8 are to receive in-person education two days a week with a total of 12 hours of lessons.

Preparatory secondary classes and grade 12 students will also receive two days of face-to-face education with a total of 16 hours of lessons.

On Monday, Education Minister Ziya Selcuk said on Twitter that in-person education at primary schools, rural schools, 8th and 12th grades and special schools will begin on Oct. 12.

Preschool and first grade students started in-person education on Sept. 21, while other students continued remote education.

“We are starting face-to-face education in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th and 12th grades” in line with determined rules to ensure the students’ safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday.

Turkey reported 1,615 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,398 recoveries over the past 24 hours, the country’s Health Ministry said Thursday.

The overall case count now stands at 330,753, with recoveries totaling 290,352, according to ministry data.

Some 117,101 COVID-19 tests were conducted over the past 24 hours, bringing the overall tally to more than 11.27 million.

The death toll from the virus reached 8,667 with 58 more fatalities.

*Writing by Merve Aydogan

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