In Turkey UNICEF supports that all children are enrolled in learning and receive a quality education.
Turkey is an upper middle-income country with well-established institutions and extensive public services especially in education.Despite significant achievements made in the duration of compulsory education and enrolment, challenges remain in ensuring that all children, especially those from vulnerable groups such as girls, children from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and refugees have access to quality inclusive education and successfully transition to secondary level education with lower drop-out rates.
Children who start primary school late – often rural children, the poorest children, and refugee children – may struggle to make up for lost ground and are at high risk of dropping out. Working children are also more likely than others to drop out of secondary school.
Hosting the highest number of refugees in the world is putting enormous strain on the country’s basic services and infrastructure. Refugee children in particular are at risk of not accessing any form of relevant education regardless of major achievements in enrolment. These children may face additional disadvantages due to trauma, language problems and discrimination.
Together with the Turkish government and partners, we are working to ensure that all children are in school and learning.
UNICEF works to increase access to quality formal education and make all schools inclusive for all children (e.g. those with disabilities, or from lower socio-economic backgrounds and refugee children).
We also work to provide non-formal education opportunities, including an accelerated learning programme and Turkish language courses, in public education centers and youth centers across the country targeting vulnerable children who have been unable to access school for various reasons (e.g. years of missed learning or language barrier issues).
We help ministries, teachers and communities themselves deliver high quality pre-school learning opportunities to vulnerable Turkish and refugee children helping to prepare them for successful entry into the Turkish primary school system.
Building on our strong and trusted relationships with our partners and existing national systems, we extend access to and improve the quality of educational opportunities for refugee children with a focus on reaching the ones who still remain out of school. UNICEF in Turkey is a key player in a cash transfer programme aimed at encouraging Syrian and other refugee families to send their children to school and keep them in school learning.