Turkey currently hosts almost 2 million Syrian refugees and is host to the largest number of refugees worldwide.
There are approximately 621,000 Syrian school-aged refugee children in Turkey and 394,000 are considered out of school.
Turkey’s response to the Syrian crisis has been generous and laudable. Over the past four years, the government has demonstrated exemplary leadership and generosity in hosting Syrian refugees. Though Turkey has taken on these challenges willingly, concerns are increasing about Turkey’s ability to provide for the long-term needs of refugee populations, including education, the best hope refugee populations have for being able to return and rebuild post-crises.
Turkey has led and financed the vast majority of the educational response to the Syrian refugee crisis. The protracted crisis and the urgency of addressing the large number of out-of-school refugee children, however, is a burden that Turkey cannot continue to shoulder alone. To provide quality, sustainable educational opportunities for all children, greater financing from the wider international community is necessary.
There are five key opportunities for the international community and Turkey to form a strong partnership over the next school year to ensure educational opportunity for all refugee children is delivered, resulting in greater access to education for hundreds of thousands of refugee children.
Opportunity #1: Invest in the rapid scaling of access to primary education.
Opportunity #2: Develop a targeted strategy for Syrian refugee youth.
Opportunity #3: Increase access to Early Childhood Education (ECE) for both refugees and Turkish children.
Opportunity #4: Increase direct budgetary support through aligned donor mechanisms allowing the Government of Turkey to deliver on agreed targets.
Opportunity #5: Develop a longer-term education response and resilience plan.