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Turkey Education Sector: Q2 January - June 2019

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The Ministry of National Education (MoNE) reports that as of the end of the 2018-2019 academic year 643,058 Syrian children under temporary protection were enrolled in formal education programmes. This corresponds to 61.39% of the 1,047,536 school-aged Syrian population under temporary protection (UTP). Of children who are enrolled in formal education, 86% are enrolled in Turkish public schools and 14% in Temporary Education Centres. Enrolment in non-formal education opportunities such as the Accelerated Learning Programme continues to grow with 10,894 (5,080 girls and 5,814 boys) of children and adolescents benefiting from the programme. However, approximately 40% of school-aged children remain out of school. Given the evidence that there are still approximately 400,000 children out of school and the enrolment rates drop sharply from middle to high school, particularly in the 14-17-year-old age range, UNICEF Turkey aims to conduct a country-specific Out of School Children (OOSC) study in coordination with MoNE, to identify both Turkish and Syrian children in Turkey who are at risk of dropping out using qualitative and quantitative methods. To contribute to the study, an OOSC workshop was organized with high-level participation from governmental institutions on June 27th and 28th, 2019 in Istanbul. The workshop aimed to better understand the profiles of OOSC in provinces with high numbers of Syrians UTP in order to inform decision-making regarding the integration of OOSC into relevant forms of education (formal and non-formal), including alternative pathways to learning.

In order to support children in schools in their academic success by identifying their Turkish language proficiency and to reduce the risk of dropping out, MoNE, organized a Turkish language exam for 500,000 children in school on May 3rd, 2019. The exam showed that 115,000 children were in immediate need of Turkish language support. In line with the results, MoNE started working on anew circular to regulate Turkish language support in schools in coordination with the sector lead.

According to the Higher Education Council, enrolment in higher education has risen from 20,000 to 27,034 during the 2018-2019 academic year. More than 2,200 students continue to be provided with full scholarships for their education. The demand for higher education preparation programmes including YOS and TOMER remains high as many high school graduates need additional support to meet the language proficiency requirements for university admission and prepara-tion for entrance and placement examinations. More than 2,300 students continued their higher education preparation programmes providing specialized language training to equip them with required certificates for the admission, during Quarter 2.