Many schools in a rush to retrofit amid quake panic

While many schools were damaged in the 11 southern quake-hit provinces after the Feb. 6 earthquakes, recent building assessments have revealed that many educational institutions through the country are not resistant to earthquakes.

According to the 2023 Kahramanmaraş and Hatay Earthquakes Report of the Presidential Strategy and Budget Directorate, 8,162 out of 20,340 educational buildings affiliated to the Education Ministry were inspected, 72 of which were demolished, 504 were heavily damaged and urgently needed to be demolished, and 331 were moderately damaged.

The report stated that almost 40 billion Turkish Liras ($ 2.1 billion) was needed for the reopening of the institutions and that the cost was expected to increase as a result of the inspection of all educational institutions.

In addition to the schools in the earthquake zone, many schools across Türkiye are in a rush to begin retrofitting. While tender notices have been made for many institutions, and students have been moved to different ones, some schools will be tendered and moved in the following days.

In the first determinations, the officials have decided to evacuate 93 schools in Istanbul, six in Ankara, eight in Izmir, 28 in Manisa, five in Tekirdağ, three in Aksaray, three in Hakkari and one in Edirne.

While students in high risk buildings were transferred to different schools, the schools were switched to a dual education system, meaning that the students were separated into two groups; with one group of students coming to school in the morning and the other group in the afternoon, thus eliminating the need for more classrooms and teachers.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Mahmut Özer announced with a statement on his social media that a total of 4,097...

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