Over 600,000 Syrian children schooled in Turkey: Ministry data
More than 600,000 Syrian children have been enrolled in the education system for the 2018-2019 school year, according to Turkish Education Ministry data, state-run Anadolu Agency said on Sept. 26.
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There are 1,047,999 Syrian school-aged refugee children in Turkey, the agency said, citing the data figures as of September provided by the General Directorate for Migration in the Turkish Interior Ministry. This figure has been gradually increasing over the years, as it was reported as 833,039 in 2016.
School-aged Syrian refugee children are enrolled in either Turkish public schools or temporary education centers in the country. In an attempt to foster an integration between Syrian and Turkish children, the Turkish government aims to close the current temporary education centers gradually and transfer the students to public schools.
In this respect, for the first time this year, the authorities have made enrollment compulsory for first, fifth, and ninth grade Syrianchildren in public schools (instead of temporary education centers). Students in other grades are similarly expected to join public schools in the next education year. The Turkish government’s measures led to a 100 percent increase in the number of Syrianchildren enrolled in public schools this year compared with the data of last year.
The number of temporary education centers was 370 as of Sept. 2017, whereas this figure now stands at 282. The authorities have made the decision not to open any further temporary education centers in the new school year.
Temporary education centers teach an accredited curriculum in Arabic, so in order to integrate Syrianchildren to the Turkish education system and remove issues related to language, Turkish language lecturers are employed as part of the project “Promoting Integration of Syrian Children to Turkish Education System” (PICTES).
Within the framework of the project PICTES, which was launched in 2016, a total of 390,000 Syrianchildren have so far received intensive Turkish classes over the period of two years. Some 5,600 Turkish language teachers, 500 guidance teachers and 100 Arabic educators have been employed as part of the project.
Currently, 282 temporary education centers in 21 provinces has been offering intensive Turkish classes to 100,678 refugee children.
Meanwhile, as of September of this year, 12,838 volunteer Syrian teachers have been employed by temporary education centers across Turkey. The directorate general for teacher training and improvement in the Education Ministry has so far provided training including pedagogical guidance to a total of 20,500 volunteer Syrian teachers in 21 provinces. Turkey hosts 3.56 million Syrian refugees, the highest number in the world, according to data from the country’s Interior Ministry.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since 2011. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, according to the United Nations.