New schools for Syrian refugee girls open in Turkey

New schools for Syrian refugee girls open in Turkey

New schools for Syrian refugee girls open in Turkey

Hürriyet File Photo

A new education institution funded by the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis has officially opened for Syrian refugee girls in Turkey’s southeastern province of Şanlıurfa.

The institution, with a capacity of around 3,000 students, was constructed in Şanlıurfa’s Devteşti neighborhood in coordination with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Refugee Education Trust (RET), state-run Anadolu Agency reported. 

Courses on managing daily life and language classes will be provided at the institution, which will also host events on countering violence against Syrian girls.

Philippe Duamelle, a UNICEF Representative in Turkey, told reporters in Şanlıurfa on Dec. 14 that the crisis in Syria was leaving a huge impact on children’s lives, especially on their education. 

“Turkey is one of the most affected countries by the Syrian crisis. Nearly 2.5 million Syrians have migrated to Turkey since the war broke out and nearly half of those people are children,” Duamelle said.

“This school is really a precious step for children who need protection and strengthening,” he added.

More than two million Syrian children worldwide will not be able to return to school this year, according to recent figures from UNICEF.

The move came less than two months after Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report in early November that “more than 400,000 Syrian refugee children in Turkey are unable to attend school” because of language barriers, integration issues and financial difficulties.

As of October 2015, there were approximately 708,000 Syrian refugee children aged 5 to 17 in Turkey, said the report.

In 2014-2015, just over 212,000 were enrolled in formal education at the primary and secondary levels, based on Turkish Education Ministry data.

The ministry said it aimed to have 270,000 Syrian children in school by January 2016 and 370,000 in school by the end of the 2015-2016 school year, stated the report.