05/22/2021, 10.42
TURKEY
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Ankara, Covid leaves four million children without access to education

A report drawn up by the Eğitim-Sen school union reveals that 44% of teachers report attendance less than 20% of the total. Turkey is among the first four countries in the world to have closed schools for the longest period in 2020. 56% of teachers have not yet received the vaccine.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) - The new coronavirus pandemic in Turkey has deprived at least four million students of access to school due to the closure of institutions and did not have the technological means for online learning.

This is what emerges from a report published in recent days by the science teacher's union (Eğitim-Sen), according to which 44% of teachers interviewed affirm that the figure on attendance in classes was less than 20% of the total.

The Turkish Ministry of Education reports that out of 18 million compulsory school students, only 12.8 million were able to regularly and actively follow virtual lessons through the Education Information Network (EBA).

"When the number of private schools' students are deduced, we can easily estimate that nearly four million children and young people are neither in distance education nor in face-to-face education," it says.

In the first phase of the pandemic, there were over six million young people deprived of any form of education, face to face or online.

The government of Ankara decided to close schools in early March 2020, immediately after the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in the country. According to a further study by international experts, Turkey is among the first four nations in the world to have closed all schools of all levels for the longest time due to the pandemic last year.

The professors explain that distance learning represents a further obstacle to the study and learning possibilities of young people, especially the weaker sections of the population. Problems that have emerged include inadequate internet connections to attend lessons or the lack of tools such as computers, laptops or tablets. Students also show little interest in virtual lessons, do not learn enough or develop, after some time, a kind of network addiction. In addition, there is a problem of lack of physical activity due to repeated lockdowns and travel restrictions.

After months of growth, in the last period, Covid-19 seems to have suffered a drastic slowdown in Turkey with daily cases below 10,000 (yesterday +9385), for a total of over 5.1 million since the beginning of the health emergency, although the figure appears to be underestimated.

For a long time, the government did not include asymptomatic patients in the official figures of the pandemic. With the last 207 deaths recorded, the total number of victims is 45,626.

Of the 3,743 teachers interviewed in Eğitim-Sen's research, 56% say they have not yet been vaccinated. 15% received two doses of the vaccine and 29% received at least one inoculation, in line with the data available to the Turkish Ministry of Education. For the unions, the government must ensure greater efforts to return to face-to-face lessons and, in cases of real emergency, allocate funds "to facilitate distance learning" among the weakest. Finally, students must be supported by providing them with adequate internet connections and means for Dad, especially for those who have fallen behind in learning.

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