Turkey reveals how 660,000 Syrian refugee children will move into state schools

Theirworld Visit To Istoc School In Turkey Where Syrian And Turkish Children Attend Classes 2
Students at Istoc Primary School in Bagcilar, a suburb of Istanbul (Theirworld/Jessica Bryant)

Barriers to education, Children in conflicts, Double-shift schools, Education in emergencies, Refugees and internally displaced people, Right to education

A three-year plan will see official schools take in students currently in temporary education centres and those not getting any education.

Turkey has announced more details about its three-year plan to get all Syrian refugee children into state schools.

Almost 300,000 children currently in temporary education centres will be gradually transferred to official schools. Another 360,000 not currently in education will also start to move into classrooms.

The education ministry said it will be compulsory for Syrian children to register for kindergarten and primary school. 

And refugee children already in state schools will be given intensive Turkish language programmes to help them move to upper classes.

The education ministry had announced in April that temporary facilities would be shut down and students moved into permanent schools.

Authorities have now given more details about the new regulations and the numbers of children involved in the process. 

There were a total of 833,039 Syrian children of school age in Turkey, according to data from November 2016.

Turkish School For Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugee children in a Turkish government-run school (Turkey PM Press & Info, https://twitter.com/ByegmENG)

Turkish officials said that, of those, 492,554 refugee students had been given access to education. Of that number, 193,503 have been taught under the Turkish curriculum at 14,742 state schools – 169,121 of them are Syrians and 24,382 are Iraqis.

A total of 291,039 Syrian children have been receiving education based on intensive Turkish teachings in temporary education centres in 20 provinces. There they receive 15 hours of Turkish classes in addition to education in their own language and curriculums.

The education ministry said refugee students will be able to get additional courses on Arabic language and culture so they do not forget their background and heritage.

Turkey is the biggest host of refugees in the world, with almost three million Syrians – 1.3 million of them children. Only 10% live in refugee camps.

Theirworld’s #YouPromised campaign has been calling on world leaders to keep to their promise to get every Syrian refugee into school in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

The number of Syrian refugee children who are in school has increased. But 534,000 across the region have yet to set foot in a classroom. 

That means more funding and clearer planning is needed urgently if world leaders are to keep their promise to educate every single refugee child.

Turkey also announced in April that all children are to get at least one year of compulsory preschool. Any child over the age of 54 months will be required to attend preschool before starting elementary school by 2019.

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