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Turkey: Open-air classrooms at the Waldorf School in Alanya

News ,  Corona ,  Current news ,  Waldorf worldwide

Founded in 2016, the Waldorf School in Alanya teaches students from kindergarten to eighth grade. As an independent school, it receives no state support and relies on parent contributions and donations for funding. The parents of most of the children work in the tourism sector and are still struggling with heavy income losses. Thanks to the donations from the Joint Action: Corona Aid, the school has, despite everything, been able to survive. The school staff sent us their thanks in a letter at the beginning of March.

In March 2020, the Turkish government decided to close the schools due to the pandemic. The Ministry of Education offered online classes. As this was not in line with our curriculum and pedagogy, we started our own online teaching programme through different channels. From September 2020, the first and eighth grades could be taught in school again. We wanted to be able to offer this option for the remaining classes as well and together with some parents we found places where we could teach the children while respecting the distancing rules. The fourth class was accommodated in a garden about eight kilometres from Alanya, the fifth class in a small village in the vicinity of the town, and the seventh class in a mountain hut (see photo). Some subject teachers had to commute back and forth between these places every day.  At the beginning of October, we were all allowed to return to school and thus, a new phase began. First, we adapted the grounds to the changing needs and had partitions built in the back garden of the school grounds. This allows us to hold our lessons outdoors when the weather is pleasant. At the same time, we made sure to have separate break and lunch times for the classes. No sooner had we mastered this than the news came in the mid-November holidays that we were to start online classes again. At this time, the loss of income among the families of the school community became so great that more and more parents had difficulty paying their usual school fees, which put a great strain on the school budget. Alanya is a small town whose population lives largely from tourism, and this is also the case in our school community. We had great financial worries. When we heard about your donation, we were so relieved and felt appreciated by the Waldorf community. Your donations have helped us in our need to maintain the vibrancy of the school, to continue to provide livelihoods and to be able to use our energy freely again for our children. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts - all the people who have made it possible for us to continue our work through their donations. You will find more letters of thanks from Waldorf schools and kindergartens who have received donations from our Joint Action: Corona Aid in the next issue of our newsletter Waldorf Weltweit, which will be published in mid-May.

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