UNESCO praises Turkey for inclusive education policies for refugees

UNESCO praises Turkey for inclusive education policies for refugees

UNESCO praises Turkey for inclusive education policies for refugees

The United Nations’ culture and education agency has praised Turkey in a new report for its “commitment to include Syrian children in its education system.”

“Turkey hosts 1 million refugees of school age and has committed to include them in its national education system by 2020, as opposed to countries such Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Thailand where no such promises have been made,” UNESCO’s 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report) said, which was published on Nov. 20 in conjunction with Universal Children’s Day.

Similarly, the report has also praised Jordan and Lebanon for their “inclusive refugee education policies.” “Both Lebanon and Jordan, with the highest number of refugees per capita in the world have integrated refugees into public schools by adopting a double-shift system,” the report said.

“The quality of education will suffer without greater international support to the countries hosting the most Syrian refugees. Teachers’ salaries are the most expensive part of any education bill and Turkey needs [an additional] 80,000 teachers to teach all current refugees,” it added.

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 in September.

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 integration between Syrian and Turkish children, the Turkish government aims to close the current temporary education centers gradually and transfer all Syrian students to public schools by 2020.