As of the end of September 2018, the Ministry of National Education reported that 615,989 Syrian children were enrolled in formal education programmes and it is expected that numbers will continue to increase during on-going school enrolment during October. The total number of school-aged children has risen from 976,200 for the 2017/2018 school year to 1,047,536 for the 2018/2019 school year. The number of children out of school increased to more than 400,000.
Demand for access to higher education remains high, with 11,8001 applications having been received for the Turkish government’s Turkiye Burslari programme having been received from Syrians residing in Turkey in 2018. Unfortunately, the number of available scholarships is far lower, with only 1,698 higher education scholarships being provided with the support of 3RP donors.
BACK TO SCHOOL PLANNING AND ACTIVITIES
The South East Turkey Education Working Group (SETEWG) developed a comprehensive “Back to School” (BTS) support pack for organisations involved in the dissemination of information to refugees. The support pack included an overview of key advocacy messages on the importance of education as well as detailed information on enrolment procedures for refugee families. Examples of possible BTS support activities were also included in the information pack.
BTS information sessions were also held with the Istanbul Education Working Group, the Protection Working Group and teams responsible for case management in South East Turkey, and the Izmir Inter-Sector Working Group. The BTS support pack was also shared widely with national protection and education partners.
As information is key in advocacy, the Back to School pack also included tools for recording difficulties encountered by refugee families when seeking to enrol their children in school. Ongoing coordination during the enrolment process with the SETEWG and the Ankara level was ensured and information that needed urgent attention were shared with MoNE for their quick intervention. A detailed analysis of this data will be prepared to support further advocacy efforts with government partners.
Other BTS efforts included the procurement of 800,000 school bags and stationery kits for refugee and vulnerable Turkish children. At the end of September 341,4822 students received an additional sum of 100 TRY on top of their monthly payments to assist families for the costs associated with the start of the new school year. In addition, students enrolled in the Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) started receiving CCTE payments as of September 2018.
As part of the community based ECE programme, the ECE summer school programme was completed in 10 provinces (Adiyaman, Batman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Kilis, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sirnak, Hatay), reaching 2,666 children. More than 90% of the children that attended the ECE summer schools are currently enrolled in formal preschools or primary schools.
An inclusive education teacher training module has been developed by MoNE and 3RP partners, aiming to strengthen the education system to provide quality education for all children, including children with disabilities and refugee children. The training of trainers of the inclusive education teacher training module took place between August and September targeting 2,200 trainers.