Thirty-five percent of the 1.1 million Syrian children living under temporary protection status in Turkey are unable to attend school, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported on Wednesday, citing a new report by the Turkish Education Ministry.
The total number of Syrian children aged 5-17 in the country is 1,124,353, according to the report, with 393,000 unable to attend school, compared to 730,806 children enrolled in Turkish schools as of January 2022, it cited the report as saying.
Turkey is home to some 3.7 million Syrians, the largest number in the world. The migrants, who have a special “temporary protection status” in the country, began arriving following the civil war in Syria in 2011.
The report listed economic hardships, a language barrier, Syrian traditions the plans of some families of migrating to another country as some of the reasons why Syrian children are absent from Turkey’s schools.
A total of 75.13 percent of Syrian primary school-age, and 80 percent of middle school-age children are attending schools in Turkey, according to the report.
The rate of school attendance for Syrian children dropped considerably for high-school aged children, of whom 42.65 percent are enrolled in school. This figure registered as 34.34 percent among preschool children, the study found.
Boys make up for slightly larger number of the Syrian pupils, with 50.7 percent attending Turkey’s educational institutes, compared to 49.3 percent of their female counterparts.
Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul is home to the greatest number of Syrian students, according to the study, with 118,391 pupils. Gaziantep and Hatay, located in southern Turkey along the Syrian border, follow Istanbul, with 97,861 and 71,543 students, respectively.
The absence of Syrian children from schooling presents a hurdle in their integration in Turkey, Kayıhan Nedim Kesbiç, a researcher with the Education Reform Initiative told DW, adding that Turkey needed more “holistic policies’’ on the matter.
“Syrian children are seen as a single prototype,” Kesbiç said. “One that is oppressed and in need…. it is important to talk about them not being a monotype.”