North Cyprus: KTÖS research on distance education


KTÖS, the Turkish Cypriot Teacher’s trade union, published the results of a research on distance learning in schools. In the framework of this study 106 schools were involved, 185 primary/preschool teachers and other education personnel were interviewed and scientific data generated by their distance education experiences was analysed.

The research shows that while educational materials are generally shared through WhatsApp (which is known as a communication platform rather than education) with lower grades, various online and offline platforms are favoured to share educational materials with upper grades. Moreover, it highlights the big efforts teachers made in order to reach the students through their own digital means and budgets.

A-synchronous learning methods[1] are mostly used in regions where there is less family support and difficulties to access internet and electronical devices. Even in a-synchronous applications, 10% of children are not attending to the classes. This result is mainly caused by the low number of devices in households with many children, internet access problems and families overlooking information provided by teachers and schools.

90% of students access education via smart phones. This practice causes serious challenges in older grades in terms of motivation, reading/listening coordination and follow-up. The study suggests several ways to minimise this difficulty, such as providing tablets for students and simulation-based content support for teachers.

Cyprus possesses education experts with the adequate academic and intellectual competences to create an open national education platform. The Ministry of Education has the means to support this development making the necessary technological investments for teachers and students to take this potential forward.

In conclusion, the research emphasised on vaccination as a priority for teachers and students, together with an increased frequency of testing, in order to create a healthy and safe environment for returning to schools. We should not forget that in addition to the education provided, schools are safe places which also contribute to the socialisation and emotional development of children.

Read the KTÖS Study’s press release here


[1] Online or distance education that happens in real time.