Children in quake-hit southern Turkey returning to school

Children in parts of southern Turkey have begun returning to school following the devastating earthquakes.

Schools in seven hard-hit provinces were closed after their buildings were damaged by the magnitude 7.8 quake on February 6 and ensuing tremors. The quakes killed at least 48,448 people in Turkey.

On Monday, some schools in three of the provinces reopened after undergoing safety checks. Joyful scenes unfolded at a boarding school in Gaziantep, as returning students enjoyed their reunion.

The school said about 60 percent of its students showed up. Speaking at an all-school meeting, the principal reassured students that the school is safe.

In classrooms, teachers and students were discussing how they should respond when an earthquake hits again.

A 13-year-old student said she is happy to be back with friends. The student said she and her classmates will help each other to overcome the difficult times.

A 29-year-old teacher says he took an online class on children's mental health. He added that teachers need to continue learning how they can best support students.

Schools in the remaining four provinces are scheduled to reopen on March 27.