Amid strict health protocols, Turkey opened village schools and kindergartens for full-time in-person education, the country's education minister said Monday.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the second semester in the eastern province of Igdir, Ziya Selcuk said: "As of now, we have opened around 6,000 unified classrooms in primary schools and 2,700 kindergartens for in-person education full-time in our villages, while our other students continue remote learning."
After months of schools being closed in an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, students in grades eight and 12 preparing for high school and university entrance exams will be next to return to their classrooms on March 1, along with preschools, special education schools, and primary schools, Selcuk added.
"As of this week, we're happy to bring our students in all our country's villages together with their schools."
Meanwhile, teachers will be included in priority groups for vaccination against COVID-19 in the last week of February, with those to teach in-person lessons to receive their first doses.
Noting the guidelines that the National Education Ministry published for students and school administrators to follow during in-person education, Selcuk said that separate rules had been set for "each common-use area."
High school exams postponed in the first semester are now to be held in-person in March.
After partially reopening schools in late September, Turkey resumed distance learning on Nov. 20, 2020 until Jan. 4, 2021.
Remote learning has continued on national broadcaster TRT's Education Information Network channels and live courses, while all teachers can carry out live lessons through the network.