Out-of-school children prepared for formal education

Thanks to the Accelerated Learning Programme, out-of-school children are prepared to join their peers in formal education

UNICEF/UN0610502/Petek Samatyali
27 July 2022

Hatay/Iskenderun, Turkey, 16 March 2022 – “I didn't speak any Turkish before I started attending this Public Education Centre. First, I learned how to hold a pencil, and then I learned to read, write, and do maths," says Hiba, 11-year-old girl, who will soon join her peers in formal education.  

Hiba came to Turkey from Aleppo, Syria with her parents and three siblings six years ago. Hiba’s education was interrupted when she could not enrol in a school, because her identity card was not issued in Turkey. Now, she has the identity card, but she needed catch-up classes before joining her peers in a Turkish public school. Three months ago, she started attending the Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) classes in Iskenderun Public Education Center (PEC).

Hiba shows one of her drawings.

Hiba is one of the 36,000 students who benefit from ALP. ALP is a complementary education programme developed for Syrian and other refugee children (10-18) who have never been to school or have dropped out-of-school and cannot be re-integrated into the formal education system without help to catch up.

Adnan, 18, is another student attending the ALP. Adnan, along with his family and six siblings, fled the conflict in the Syrian city of Homs and came to Hatay in 2014. The ALP outreach teams identified Adnan at the auto mechanic business where he worked and helped him enrol in the ALP to support his education. He has been attending the ALP at the Iskenderun Public Education Center for about six months. For Adnan, this means back to education for the first time in years. He has now completed the second module of the program.

"Before I joined the program, I didn't know any Turkish. Now I am learning both Turkish and mathematics in the ALP classes. When I first came here, I felt like an outsider. But in time, I made friends and got used to going to school again. Now, I want to continue with my education and become a teacher”, Adnan explains.

The Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) that Adnan and Hiba benefit from is implemented through the Ministry of National Education (MoNE) and UNICEF partnership with the financial support of the Qatar Charity. The program operates in 90 Public Education Centers in 18 provinces where there are high numbers of refugee children. Teachers first identify out-of-school children through outreach activities, then these children enrol in the ALP. The program has four modules that correspond with the relevant grades in the formal education system. After completing a given module, students are assessed by the provincial/district MoNE Equivalency Commissions. Those who pass the assessment continue their education within the appropriate grade in the formal education system.

UNICEF/UN0610525/Petek Samatyali
Adnan, with his Turkish teacher.
UNICEF/UN0610519/Petek Samatyali
Adnan reading his textbook.
UNICEF/UN0610517/Petek Samatyali
Students at the Public Education Center attending lessons.