Education Ministry runs double-shift classes for Syrian refugee-students
Gamze Kolcu ANKARA
Syrian Kurdish children take lessons in a makeshift school tent in a refugee camp in Suruç, a town in the southeastern Turkish province of Şanlıurfa.In a bid to deal with the enormous number of school-aged Syrian refugees currently in Turkey, the Education Ministry has resorted to implementing double-shift classes at schools in Adana, Ankara, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Hatay and Kayseri.
As part of the new measures, Turkish students in these provinces attend classes before noon and refugee-students attend in the afternoon.
The number of school-aged children out of the almost two million Syrian refugees in Turkey is more than 350,000 - a figure indicating the weight of Turkey’s refugee burden.
In September, the Education Ministry released a circular related to education and training services for foreigners in order to remove bureaucratic obstacles to the registration of child refugees at schools operating under the ministry’s authority. Based on the circular, around 120 temporary education centers have since been opened.
Meanwhile, joint efforts by the Education Ministry and the Directorate General for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) for facilitating the integration of Syrian children, which had first been launched in Gaziantep, have expanded to Ankara, Kilis and Şanlıurfa. Accordingly, the Diyanet Foundation of Turkey (TDV) has been providing technical and financial support to activities being run under the responsibility of the ministry.
Another joint initiative for Syrian refugees has been taken by the Education Ministry, UNICEF, and the Post and Telegraph Organization (PTT). The three have signed a protocol that allows for payments to be made to Syrian volunteer teachers.
Camp and non-camp teachers will be paid an incentive on a monthly basis, which is distributed through a PTT card that can either be used at ATMs to withdraw cash or as a debit card at retail locations.
Teachers will be paid in Turkish Liras, equivalent to around $150-200 per week.