Covid-19 vs. Distance Edu-20 case Turkey
Distance education should be student-centric. The method should offer equal opportunities and be able to provide education services to wide range of students. Especially while we are going through desperate times globally, the distance education delivery needs very detailed plan.
Distance education is independent of time and space which eliminated geographical and regional barriers. There are also some other advantages such as allowing students to study at their own learning pace, provides fast and easy access to information, provides 24/7 access to the education and training environment, eliminates additional expenses like transportation, accommodation and nutrition required in face-to-face education, provides interactive and dynamic learning process with instructors,
If we are talking about equal opportunities, the method and delivery of the education should be available for every student who will be participating considering technology and availability of technology for every family in the country. Ministry of National Education (MoNE) Turkey started EBA (Education Information Network) TV initiative for three different level of education with TRT.
TRT (Turkish Radio & Television Corporation) created remote classes for primary, secondary and high schools started on 23.03.2020 on TRT EBA TV and will continue until 30 April. The main idea behind this is to reach every household in Turkey and eliminate the barriers caused by economic income difference such as availability of fast speed internet connection, personal computers, laptops, tablets etc. Remote classes can be accessed via MoNE’s EBA platform anytime including old classes and weekly curriculums.
Broadcasts are repeated on the same channel once or twice a day. Teachers are chosen by the MoNE from their respected fields based on their success rates.
They also considered the students with special needs, so they wouldn’t stay far behind the other students during the distance education process. These students are also able to enter the system through EBA and watch the courses prepared fore them and do activities like other students.
On the other side Anadolu University Rector Dr. Şafak Ertan Çomaklı provided details about the upcoming remote exam for Open University Faculty of Economics and Business Administration. The exam will be in internet-based environment and in addition there will be a private exam for every individual. This is going to be first in Turkey and this specific exam will have more than 1 million students participating. At the moment Turkey has only three universities for open studies and Anadolu University has alone 2.4 million students registered but 1.1 million active studying and using distance education on higher education, from those active students only 454 thousand of them studying as a second degree. According to the administrators, the chances of second university degree without an exam increased the number of students in open studies. Students who study or graduate from higher education institution can study in a part of open university without any exam.
Given the developments in Turkey, increase in the diversity of remote training applications are expected to be further enriched the content and process of learning through the integration of new technologies in distance education process.