20-03-2020 09:40:11

“All crews, content ready, filming complete for lesson videos to be broadcast, posted online”

Education Ziya Selcuk spoke at Anadolu Agency's Editor's Desk in the capital Ankara.

Turkey is prepared to institute distance education as online and broadcast school lessons are slated to launch on March 23 as part of measures against the novel coronavirus, the country's national education minister said Thursday.

"All the crews and content are ready. The filming is complete," Ziya Selcuk told.

Lessons will begin on March 23, at 09.00 a.m. local time (0600GMT), and will be 20 minutes each instead of the 40-minute regular classes, said Selcuk.

The lessons will mainly be broadcast via television channels more than once throughout the day, due to possible internet bandwidth issues.

"The lessons we will broadcast on television will also be related to previous topics in face-to-face classes," Selcuk added.

Explaining that not all students had access to the internet, cell phones or computers, he said the lessons would thus be "television-focused."

"Our teachers voluntarily prepared the lessons and subjects needed on television. Our teachers work in small groups in certain centers, studios, and schools, and then test broadcasts are made," Selcuk said.

He also stressed that Turkey was one of the few countries able to implement distance education on a national level.

Selcuk added that the lessons also include art and music and sports.

Education Information Network

Besides televised lessons, Selcuk said Turkey announced its Education Information Network (EIN), an artificial-intelligence-based educational platform used by two other countries.

"While the student is preparing for an exam, the EIN provides personal guidance, holds private exams and screens where that student is among others," Selcuk said, adding that the system's artificial intelligence also recognized a student's mistakes when they were unable to solve a question, accordingly designating future topics for them to study.

Since first being detected in Wuhan, China in December, the novel coronavirus has claimed 8,946 lives globally, most in China, according to global data maintained by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

At least 219,427 cases of the virus have been confirmed in at least 159 countries and territories, with Europe as the new epicenter of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.

Despite the rising number of cases, most people who get infected suffer mild symptoms and recover.