Turkish teachers urge school closures amid high Covid-19 cases: report

Turkish teachers urge school closures amid high Covid-19 cases: report
Covid case numbers have been persistently high in Turkey since the school year began in September
1 min read
03 November, 2021
Schools are still open in Turkey despite Covid-19 case numbers [Getty]

Teacher unions in Turkey are urging the government to implement tougher measures against coronavirus in schools as cases remain persistently high, according to local media reports.

School staff have repeatedly expressed concern about the way in which schools are being run in the current phase of the pandemic, Orhan Yildirim, member of the Education-Business Union Central Executive Committee told Bianet.

It is difficult to obtain exact numbers of cases because the health ministry doesn’t disclose data on cases of coronavirus at schools, Yildirim said.

He said his committee estimates that around 10 percent of the teachers either have coronavirus or are in direct contact with a staff member with the virus.

"It doesn't send teachers who had contact [with Covid patients] home as well. In fact, if one teacher in a school has Covid, all teachers should be considered contacts. However, they don't implement this but just send the Covid-positive one home,” Yildirim added.

Health minister Fahrettin Koca said Monday that the government had no intention of shutting down schools, despite the stubbornly high number of cases.

Turkey has recorded more than eight million Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began.

Almost 58 percent of the population is fully vaccinated against the virus.