Abdulkadir Özkan: "Wouldn't it be better the measures were taken and then schools opened?"

Abdulkadir Özkan: "Wouldnt it be better the measures were taken and then schools opened?"
Date: 17.9.2021 17:00

Milli Gazete columnist Abdulkadir Özkan writes on Covid-19 outbreak and openin schools. Here is the full article.

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A number of decisions are taken and put into practice, and after a while, some measures are implemented or tried to be implemented. For example, after it was decided to open schools and start face-to-face education, it is reflected in the media that some measures are being considered due to the continuing increase in the number of cases. According to the news, the measures considered are primarily to reduce the number of students in the classrooms. However, since the number of classes cannot be increased in order to take such a decision, dual education may be in question. However, the question of how to open new classrooms remains unanswered, while there is still a shortage of teachers in our country, even under normal conditions. In addition, it is possible to continue the education at the weekend, thus reducing the number of students in the classes. Reducing the number of students in classrooms is seen as the first precaution that comes to mind in protecting our students from the epidemic. However, should schools have to be opened for this to be considered, these issues could have been considered before the epidemic that appeared in some classrooms. As we have reminded in this column on the day the schools will open, inevitably, in order to reduce the number of students in the classrooms, the number of classes had to be increased, and for this, a solution to the lack of space had to be found. The number of places can be increased by switching to dual education or by keeping schools open on weekends. However, in order to reduce the number of students in the classrooms, it is not enough to solve the problem of space alone, the number of teachers must be increased. This is not an issue that can be resolved overnight. First of all, there is a need to fill the current teacher shortage and then to recruit new teachers according to the new need.
Of course, this is not impossible either. I don't think it would be a problem to get new teachers for the state. Considering that there are hundreds of thousands of teachers waiting for their appointment, the problem is not insoluble. However, this is not a situation that can be decided today and implemented tomorrow. If these things had been considered and necessary precautions had been taken during the summer vacation, I think that after the opening of the schools, we would not have thought about how to find a solution to the problems that arose. Because there has been an epidemic that has been going on for two years, and it is known that the epidemic spreads especially in crowded environments. Then why was it decided to open schools without taking any steps? Not only did the decision be made, it was announced that the schools would be kept open until the end. On the days when these statements were made, there was no decrease in the number of cases and the number of people who lost their lives in the epidemic. It was believed that the epidemic would be prevented by intensive vaccination. This opinion generally continues today, but a vaccination figure that will provide social immunity could not be reached or the expected result could not be obtained even if it was reached.
There is a concern that if the epidemic will increase a little more in the coming days, a new closure period for schools may be on the agenda. Let me just say that reducing the number of students in the classrooms can reduce the crowds no matter what. However, the epidemic is not only spreading because of the crowd in schools. The strange thing is that despite the two years that have passed, it is not clear how the virus is transmitted to people. In short, uncertainty continues in vaccination. As such, the reduction of classes does not seem to be possible with a decision to be taken. These days should have been prepared months in advance, this did not happen. When students started to lose their relations with their schools gradually, it was said that we should open schools and save children from trouble, but this time the hesitation of parents, school administrators and teachers inevitably makes one think. Beyond thinking, one cannot help but ask why these measures have not been taken to put them into practice during the summer months.


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