Education Policies for Syrians in Turkey


“The future of a country depends on the education of the people of that country.”
– Albert Einstein

Migration and adaptation to a new social life is a long-term process that completely affects human life and includes its own complex dynamics. The process with such a dynamic and multi-dimensional structure has caused research to be the center of attention. Syrians from training on becoming every day more permanent in Turkey in everyday life, social tension than harmony, the right to work until health there is a need to develop new perspectives. One of the most important of these is undoubtedly the issue of including Syrian children in a formal and effective education. Thanks to education, children will be able to develop a new future idea and become productive individuals who are beneficial to their generation. On the contrary, it is a fact that along with the lack of education of children, they will carry the risks of cheap labor, early marriage, ghettoization, and participation in political and radical organizations. In addition, Syrian children who are left without education are likely to face many problems such as adaptation problems in social life. A good education qualified people, qualified people; increases efficiency and originality. It is seen that education, which plays an active role in shaping our individual and social identities, has functions such as gathering the masses within the framework of social agreements and spreading ethical and cultural values. Therefore, education and social integration and the development of the society as well as within the scope of Syrians in Turkey in terms of compliance pursuant to increase the welfare of NGOs on different platforms, solutions-oriented projects are being produced under the auspices of local and international organizations.

Until today, studies have been carried out to provide short-term, life and property safety, and primary needs such as shelter, clothing and food for Syrians in general. It is important to lay the foundations of a diversified, multicultural and dynamic society thanks to a good process management and controlled interventions in order to ensure social cohesion and integration after meeting the basic needs. In this respect, entrusting the long-term and permanent solutions to the future of Syrian children in a stable and secure manner is valuable for the population, which cannot be underestimated in terms of quantity.

One of the most important problems for Syrians under temporary protection living in our country is to ensure that students who have had to interrupt their education are included in the education system. Interior Ministry’s Migration Directorate of Administration based on the data of 11 November 2018, immigrated to Turkey Syrian children 1135.663 consists of children aged 5-18 years. This data shows that there are hundreds of children who have left their education in their countries and need to continue their education. According to the April 2018 data of the Ministry of National Education, 62.11% of the students under temporary protection in our country, including those who attend temporary education centers, are schooled. According to another data; From 2011 to 2016, more than 200 thousand Syrians in Turkey, the baby was born. (Erdo?an, 2015) Thus, to a large population approaching school age, and was born and raised in Turkey. While the schooling rate between 2014-2015 was 30%; The schooling rate increased to 65% between 2017-2018. The course of developments in this process was first tried to be developed over the possibility of Syrians returning in the near future. (Çelik, Taitan; 2017) First of all, in 2012, the Ministry of Education contributed to their education by applying the Arabic curriculum instead of teaching Turkish to Syrians. In this way, it was aimed that Syrians do not experience any adaptation problems when they return to their countries. However, due to the increase by the day of Syrians in Turkey it has emerged permanent and necessity of a good process management.

In this framework, there has been a transition from short-term policies towards Syrians to long-term policies. One of the most important of these policies is education. During the civil war, which entered its 7th year on March 15, 2018, more than 300 thousand people lost their lives, 12 million Syrians were forced to flee their homes and 4.8 million took refuge in neighboring countries. Syrians coming to Turkey has shown great effort to meet the needs of every subject in this challenging period. In order to prevent the lost generation disaster, educational activities were supported by the regulations of a field that does not accept a gap like education, and the issuance of regulations and circulars. (Erta, Kraç, 2017)

In addition, thanks to the circulars entitled “Education and Training Services for Foreigners” numbered 2014/21 prepared by the Ministry of National Education, steps were taken to provide education to Syrian children who had to interrupt their education so that they do not lose their year, and to be assigned by the Ministry of Education when the need for teachers was to be met. Likewise, within the scope of the circular published, they were employed in Temporary Education Centers and public schools outside the camps. In addition, education was provided in Private Schools opened by Syrians.

Considering the schooling rates of Syrian children, a steady increase has been observed since 2014. While the number of students with educational access in public schools was 40,000 in 2014-2015, it increased to 300,000 in 2017-2018. In in-camp education, according to AFAD’s 2015 data, the total number of students reached 78,425.

According to the data of the immigration administration, the Syrian population has reached 3 million 570 thousand 35 as of June 2018. Thinking about the future of a population with this density is a humanitarian duty that brings us all together on a common ground. Both the national non-governmental organizations as well as the International Association of Turkey are not alone in this process. Turkish Red Crescent provided education opportunities to Syrian students of all ages through “Community Centers Projects” in this process. Community Centers made a great contribution to accelerating the adaptation process in terms of providing psychosocial support, guidance and education services to Syrians.

‘Which of the following stylish granting education in schools in Turkey represents the best of your mind?’ With the question has emerged as the support of a significant segment of the Turkish public According to the responses given in the opinion polls. Although there are different resistances in the inclusion of Syrians in university education, the results are promising. As a result of the research, 72% of the people support different types of education, while 27.5% think that “no education should be given”. (M. Erdo?an, 2018)

Non-governmental organizations and international actors fill an important gap, especially regarding the education of Syrian children, thanks to the resources they provide. So far, Turkey was against Turkish citizens who know the system followed in the absence of pedagogical training infrastructure for foreigners. Therefore, through the Temporary Education Centers established as the first response to the crisis, it was ensured that the Syrian curriculum was taken as a base, and Arabic education was provided. Organizations such as TDV and Bülbülzade Foundation played an important role in the development of the curriculum used in Temporary Education Centers. Yunus Emre Institute has made an important contribution to the preparation and printing of books to be taught in schools. Likewise, global NGOs such as IHH and local NGOs such as Elbir Association (Konya) have played important roles in providing the stationery needs and school uniforms of Syrian children. Organizations such as Tzu Chi Foundation (Istanbul), IOM, SGDD-ASAM, Turkish Red Crescent and UNICEF also provided significant support in increasing the schooling of children and solving problems related to transportation to school. UNICEF has provided great support in many issues related to the education of Syrian children (such as the payment of the salaries of teachers, Turkish teachers and guidance counselors in TECs). Likewise, the great efforts and efforts of many NGOs and volunteers cannot be ignored. (Ta?tan, Steel; 2017)
We are experiencing the biggest humanitarian crisis of recent years and children continue to be the most burdened segment of this crisis. Even if basic needs such as shelter, health and security are met for refugee children who leave their country due to necessity, various NGOs and State Organizations are making great efforts to minimize the effects of this humanitarian tragedy on children through cooperation projects in order not to turn the crisis into a lost generation. For this reason, the Conditional Education Aid Program is carried out in cooperation with UNICEF, the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, the Ministry of National Education and the Turkish Red Crescent in order to support the attendance of children to school and to increase the number of children who continue their education life. Within the scope of the program, students are provided with monthly cash support and help with their education and training expenses. In this context, on May 31, 2017 in Turkey as of the date card through 33 thousand to 56 thousand children 3 million 800 thousand Turkish Lira cash transfer is made. (UNICEF, 2017)

Finally, according to the 2018 humanitarian global report last year, Turkey has experienced the honor of being the world leader in 8:07 billions of US dollars of humanitarian aid. Our country was followed by the USA, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union, respectively. We inherited from our historical and cultural codes the establishment of peace and tranquility, and reaching out to every person in need with a humanitarian and conscientious perspective. In the light of self-sacrifice and goodwill, the Turkish people have always mobilized to take care of the people who had to leave their country. From now on, he will steadily strive to alleviate human suffering.