Millions of students back in school after short break

Around 18 million students and more than a million teachers returned to schools with the end of the first one-week break of the academic that started on Nov. 15.

Some students cheered the first day of school after a short holiday period, getting happy about their reunion with classmates. It was business as usual for teachers since they had to attend professional development training during the holiday.

Despite some minor setbacks, in-person education resumes at an overwhelming number of schools throughout the country as the pandemic is still raging, but 66 of 850,000 classrooms as of Nov. 22 will be temporarily kept closed due to COVID-19.

The number of teachers who had at least two doses of the vaccine or have antibodies without the vaccine reached 93 percent, which corresponds to nearly 1.1 million teachers overall considering the size of the number of teachers registered in the system.

Teachers and other staff at schools are required to either get vaccinated or routinely present their negative PCR test results.

The first semester of the 2021-2022 academic year will end on Jan. 21 while students and teachers will be back in schools on Feb. 4 after the semester break.

Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan praised the moves in the education system, underlining that a breakthrough has been achieved in the history of the republic in an introduction written by him for a book.

"In the last 20 years, we have achieved an improvement in all areas of education in Turkey. More importantly, we also increased the quality of education in this process," Erdoğan wrote in the introduction part of the "20 Years of Education in Turkey: 2000-2019" prepared by the Education Ministry.

"Now Turkey has reached a level that can...

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