Over 18.5 million students in primary, secondary, and high schools in Turkey have experienced great changes in the education process since the country confirmed the first coronavirus infection on March 11, 2020.
During the pandemic period, education has been transformed through online learning via the country's Education Information Network (EBA) and public broadcaster TRT EBA, as well as live courses and digital course materials.
Turkey has become among the countries which provide these digital opportunities for students helping them rapidly adapt to the new process of distance education.
According to the information compiled by Anadolu Agency, COVID-19 has disrupted the educational life of billions of students across the world.
Turkey has become the second country which introduced nationwide distance education, following China.
After education activities were suspended as part of coronavirus measures, Turkey launched distance education for over 18 million students starting on March 23, 2020, thanks to the efforts of the country’s Education Ministry.
Hundreds of teachers in Turkey took part in TRT EBA's distance education broadcasts from the capital Ankara and metropolis Istanbul.
During the distance education process, state-run TRT channels -- EBA TV Primary School, EBA TV Secondary School and EBA TV High School -- were put in service, with 10,845 hours of broadcasting for a total of 7,695 courses and 936 extracurricular activities.
EBA, with its expanding infrastructure available 24/7 for 18 million students, become among the most visited websites in Turkey and worldwide.
The EBA mobile application has reached 27.1 million downloads for Android devices and 2.9 million for IOS devices.
The Turkish Education Ministry has also been distributing tablets to students to support their distance education.
So far, 359,120 students have received tablets with a monthly 25 GB internet package through contributions of private sector organizations and civil initiatives.
Distribution of 500,000 tablets is expected to be completed by the end of this month.
In addition to 14,272 fixed EBA support points, 164 mobile support points have been established in schools and institutions across 81 Turkish provinces to help students -- those without opportunities at home -- attend distance education.
Even after the pandemic, the digitalization process will be included in the education system, according to education experts who note that blended learning formats would involve both in-person and distance learning.
In Turkey, the current semester of distance education will end on Jan. 22 and nearly 18 million students will start a three-week break beginning from Jan. 25.
The following semester is expected to start, to include also in-person learning, on Feb. 15, depending on the course of the pandemic.
Source: Anadolu Agency