Ankara, Aug 13 (IANS) Turkey will resume academic year via distance learning programs and gradually restart face-to-face schooling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Education Minister Ziya Selcuk announced.
“Distance education will begin on August 31. We decided to start face-to-face education in classrooms recommended by the Scientific Committee on September 21. The committee will decide which age group will return to school and when,” Selcuk told the media on Wednesday.
Turkey shut down the primary, secondary and high schools on March 16 and launched a distance learning program on March 23 for around 18 million students as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“If the increase continues at this rate, we may need to turn to heavy measures,” Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in a statement on Wednesday.
Turkey confirmed 1,212 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, raising the total to 244,392.
Meanwhile, 18 people died in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 5,891.
Turkish health professionals conducted 67,237 tests in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall number of tests to 5,454,988.
Turkey reported the first COVID-19 case on March 11.