Turkey's Education and Agriculture Ministries have decided to transform disused school buildings in remote villages for the local community.
As part of the project, vacant school buildings will be repurposed as social learning centers, known as "Village Wellness Centers."
Education Minister Mahmut Özer in a statement Wednesday said the first Village Wellness Centers was launched in Samsun, as Alanlı Recep Asal Mathematics and Nature School, in June.
He said the wellness centers, set to become the heart of the villages, are being built all over Turkey.
Özer emphasized that the project aims to turn unused schools into social centers where anyone regardless of their age can get an education on anything, from cooking and crafts to other life skills. The project will also ensure the active use of these buildings for different purposes.
He added that they also made a regulatory change so new kindergartens could now be opened for five children, instead of 10, adding 12,000 more children to Turkey's education system.
“In coordination with the Agriculture Ministry, unused kindergartens and primary schools will be turned into learning centers that would provide all kinds of education, including on agriculture and animal husbandry, to the locals,” he said.
“If there is no need for a public education center due to the village’s physical condition, a youth camp could be established instead,” he added.
“The project received positive response so far. Our provinces have now started to actively participate in the process of bringing disused schools back to life. We will closely monitor the process of actively putting it into the service of our citizens,” the minister said.