Some 400,000 Syrian children left out of Turkish education system

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Turkey was unable to provide education for 397,253 Syrian children who were under temporary protection status during the 2019-2020 academic year, the Birgün daily reported on Tuesday, citing the Ministry of Education.

The number of Syrians who left their homeland and sought refuge in Turkey due to a civil war that started in 2011 rose by 252 percent between 2012 and the end of 2020. By 2019 there were 3,603,888 Syrians in Turkey, 30 percent of whom were school-age children, according to official data.

The schooling rate of Syrian children, however, rose by a mere 0.01 percent in the 2018-2019 academic year from 65.52 percent in the 2017-2018 academic year, rising to 63.29 percent in the 2019-2020 academic year.

Although the number of school-age Syrian children rose by 71,336 from 2017 to 2018, the number of students in school increased by only 44,797.

In 2018, 26,539 Syrian students either dropped out of school or refused to apply to a school.

According to the ministry’s data, 529,753 Syrian students attended public schools while 23,849 and 84,755 students attended refuge schools in and outside the camps, respectively.

Of 655,075 Syrian students, 322,525 were girls and 332,550 were boys.

The data for the 2019-2020 academic year demonstrate that Turkey has since 2011 been unable to provide satisfactory access to the education system for those who are under temporary protection.

The rate of schooling for Syrian children in Turkey grew by only 33 percent from 30.42 percent in the 2014-2015 academic year to 63.29 percent in 2019-2020 as 397,253 Syrian school-age children were left out of the school system.

Breakdown of Syrian school-age children left out of the Turkish education system by academic year.

Economic hardship is one of the major obstacles to education for most Syrian families in Turkey. Refugees are not allowed to work legally in the country. Parents can’t survive on the minimum wage they earn in the informal economy. Child labor has skyrocketed among the Syrian population in Turkey.

Language is another reason Syrian children are unable to access Turkish public schools. Others also face bullying, which causes them to either drop out or not enroll in the first place.

According to multeciler.org, there were 3,684,412 Syrians, of which 1,746,253 are aged between 0 and 18, under temporary protection in Turkey as of June.

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