Quality inclusive education
UNICEF aims to make all schools in Turkey truly inclusive for every child
UNICEF supports the Ministry of National Education and its partners to provide quality inclusive education and learning environments for all children, especially the most vulnerable, including children with disabilities and refugee children.
Making the education system more inclusive for all children includes improving standards, curricula and a focus on teacher training and development. Hundreds of thousands of teachers and volunteer teachers receive training on inclusive education. This contributes to enhancing the capacity of teachers and guidance counsellors to support all vulnerable children, especially children with disabilities and refugee children, in Turkish public schools by promoting social cohesion and addressing children’s specific academic and psychosocial needs. By strengthening their capacity, teachers and guidance counsellors will be better equipped to adress the particular psychosocial needs of children (e.g. related to natural disasters, abuse, terrorism, and migration).
The Remedial Education Programme was developed to support the significant number of children who are unable to reach expected 3rd and 4th grade basic literacy and numeracy learning achievement levels. Both Turkish and refugee children benefit from this programme every year nationwide.
Children with disabilities
UNICEF aims to make schools inclusive and child-centered, recognizing that the obstacles to learning and participation are not the result of a child’s disability, but rather the capacity of school communities to effectively address and remove those obstacles. UNICEF’s work with partners has helped to increase the number of children with disabilities attending schools in Turkey.
Children with disabilities are at greater risk of being excluded and of having poor access to health, education and social welfare services.
UNICEF upholds the rights of children with disabilities by promoting their best possible care and supporting their education and participation. UNICEF supports outreach services to families with young children to identify and respond to any disabilities at an early age, giving children a chance to reach their full potential. Home-visit and community-based programmes – an approach that spans child protection, health and nutrition, and early childhood development – give families vital support and connect them to specialized services.
Gender equality in education
In Turkey, laws are in place on equality; however, greater efforts are needed to ensure gender equality in education, political participation, labour force participation, and protection from discrimination and violence.
UNICEF in Turkey promotes equity, protection, inclusion and empowerment of women and girls. Together with MoNE and partners, UNICEF works to promote an equality and gender-sensitive approach throughout the education system in its support to programming, training and monitoring of activities.
All grade 9 teachers in Turkey have been provided with gender mainstreaming guidance materials and a significant number of teachers and school administrators have participated in gender equality training. Technical assistance in the implementation of a gender equality programme in 162 pilot schools in 81 provinces was rolled out in the 2017/2018 school year. Gender responsive teaching and learning tools and materials will continue to be piloted in the coming years.