With COVID-19 in Turkey dominating the news, the field of education is feeling the force of social isolation. However, for students to continue their education uninterrupted, Turkey is set to launch digital education that will be available to millions. All education ceased across Turkey on March 13 to try and stop the spread of coronavirus.
Soon after the announcement, the Education minister Ziya Selcuk explained that lessons were going to be made available either on television or online to make sure that all students have no reason to fall behind with their studies.
According to Selcuk, students will have the benefit of the EBA (Education Information Network) which allows them access to their lessons online. These lessons will be complete with students and teacher’s participation. Until the pandemic is over there will also be six dedicated television channels for student studies.
Educational structure in Turkey
There will be various lessons available dependent on the student and their grade, which will be presented in 20-minute blocks and will cover key subjects such as Turkish, English, Math, Geography, Biology and Social/Physical Sciences. The lessons will begin at 9am and these lessons can also be viewed later in the evening with additional courses and associated materials available through the EBA website.
The deputy director-general, Yusuf Kirac from Turk Telekom Technology confirmed that the agreement the company has put in place with the education ministry will see them assist with facilitating the distance learning methods. He went on to say: “There are 18 million students who will use this system, and the infrastructure of over 40,000 schools accessing the infrastructure is ensured by Turk Telekom.”
Kirac went on to state the EBA users would also be supplied by an additional extra data cap of 5 gigabytes. Kirac confirmed that Turk Telekom are prepared to meet the additional demand for web traffic that will increase substantially by the introduction of this online educational system. He said that: “As a national institution it is part of our community responsibility to come up with solutions.”
A new way of teaching
Whilst officials see no reason why the infrastructure will be problematic when providing their service to millions of students at the same time, teachers have warned that providing education in this way could see students finding it difficult to stay motivated.
A teacher said: “Many of the students will be taught online for the first time, and it might become a bit challenging for us to motivate them. We cannot expect online or TV lessons to be as effective as our regular classes in the early days, but given the grave realities of coronavirus, it was a necessity. We will try to make the most out of them.”
The teacher explained that the success of this distance learning will be determined to a certain degree by the student’s parents. For this process it is vital that students are not disturbed during their lessons because this could harm the learning process and educational environment that has been created.
At this point, no one knows how long lessons will have to be delivered this way. From an educational standpoint these online and TV lessons are vital to ensure that students do not fall behind in their studies.
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