Students have to leave their village every day to find a place to access the Education Informatics Network (EBA) in Hakkari (Colemerg), Turkey.
The Turkish Ministry of National Education recently launched the Education Informatics Network (EBA) programme for distance learning due to the Covid-19 outbreak. But students, especially in Eastern Turkey, have major problems accessing the EBA because of insufficient network infrastructure.
The Geçimli (Rintkê) district of Hakkari city is one of the worst hit areas. Students come together every morning and search for an area in Zap Valley to access the EBA. When they reach the valley after a long walk, they wait for the operator to connect.
Even if students do find a proper place to access the network, traffic noise is disruptive and they can have problems watching their lessons. The poor network signal increases the frustration.
Parent Faruk Ertuş says that education for his child is currently “not possible”, adding: “we are aggrieved by the poor network infrastructure. We demand a solution. Our children should be able to maintain their education”.
Another parent, İdris Çiftçi, says he has seven children and they have only one mobile phone between them. His son Halit says, “We have no tablet or computer in our home. We access EBA one by one when my father is at home. But when he leaves home we can do nothing”.
Students try to access EBA in a place near a busy highway.
Hayrettin Ertuş, who is also a parent, says that one parent joins the students every day: “We come here when the weather is good. But if it is rainy or the weather is cold, children cannot come here”.
Student Bilal Ertuş says, “We leave the village to attend lessons due to network problems. I don’t have a mobile phone, so I use my brother’s phone. When he is not home I cannot watch my lessons”.