Turkey keeps fulfilling its humanitarian and conscientious responsibility without being unconcerned with the destruction in its close neighbor Syria. Hosting 3.5 million Syrian, Turkey, in the meantime, provides 600 thousand of Syrian children with maintaining their education. Getting the healthcare services for free as well, the Syrian refugees are supported by the Republic of Turkey and its citizens greatly.
Although it is very difficult to meet the immediate needs of 3.5 million Syrian refugees such as accommodation, food, healthcare, education, from the budget of the government, the main difficulties are undoubtedly cultural adaptation and education. Turkey tries to integrate its Syrian refugees that are hosted in different cities into Turkish society without practicing assimilation policies. The children of Syrian refugees, who equals almost to the population of a couple of countries, receive education in Turkey in the same level of prerogatives of Turkish citizens. Almost 600 thousand of Syrian children go to school and receive education in Turkey, and some of them learn Turkish and finish Turkish universities and even get a job.
From kindergarden to university, Turkey that tries to give quality education to Syrian children and youth in different age groups, also practices various strategies to develop the culture of living together.
Humans can find solution strategies easily against the difficulties. Syrians that take refugees in Turkey from their war-destroyed country where the cultural memory is ruined, and most importantly, the psychological traumas are experienced live a different life here.
By not letting war-caused tragedy be dramatized more, Turkey offers a livable life to its Syrian guests by all its institutions, that is to say, by all the means of the the Republic of Turkey and its citizens.
For example, is this known that 0-18 age group of Syrian children is more than one million in Turkey? If we say it this way, we can make even a truer determination:
Does anybody know the fact that 73 percent of these children are in the primary education period? The Ministry of Education of Turkey tries to solve this major problem by two important and valuable models. The first one is Temporary Education Centers, abbreviated as (GEM), which is under the Ministry of Education and subject to Syrian syllabus that gives education in Arabic. This type of education is used maybe the first time by the Turkish pedagogues. GEM is an original and rational solution which is found in order not to let the children who are exposed to immigration moves in a short time span lag behind their education.
As to the second model, Syrian students receive education in public schools together with Turkish students. Maybe, the most important problem here is the language, to be honest, Syrian children who do not know Turkish caused problems, in other words. However, by revising the National Education syllabus, Turkey has formed a pluralist education system and has applied to some methods to make teaching of Turkish easier and widespread by revising schoolbooks.
Turkey keeps making great sacrifices, at heart. It has never been seen that a country reduces the number of class hours of its own children to assign to the education of refugee children. However, how many people in the world know that Turkey rearranged the number of class hours of almost 200 schools to assign them to the education of Syrian children. This is a matter to research, indeed. Besides, Syrian children who finish high school are applied to equivalency exam and then taken to universities.
There are some institutions in Turkey to help Syrian children to integrate and to learn Turkish. The Yunus Emre Institute that undertakes the teaching of Turkish language and the promotion of Turkish culture in its centers worldwide, works on connecting science, art and business people with Turkey organically. Taking an active role in the learning Turkish of Syrians in Turkey, the Yunus Emre Institute opened a Turkish class at one of the central schools of Ankara, last month.
At the opening of the Turkish Class at the Solfasol Primary School, the President of the Yunus Emre Institute Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş made the evaluations as “While both producing Turkish teaching materials and teaching Turkish all over the world, we cannot remain insensitive to the Turkish teaching of immigrant children who took refuge in our country.”
Stating that the Turkish class that has been opened as a pilot scheme at the Solfasol Primary School, is prepared for students to learn Turkish in a natural atmosphere, President of the Institute Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş said the war weary children should be able to make sense of the language we speak, at first, in order to develop intimacy with our country, and the Turkish class that will serve this purpose should set an example.
In the classroom which is prepared for letting nursery, first, second and third grade level students almost all of whom are Syrian children learn Turkish easier and funnier, there are the books I learn Turkish, Turkish for Kids, I Learn Vocabulary with Picture prepared by the Yunus Emre Institute, language teaching posters, graded readers from various publishers, activity books, picture dictionaries, vocabulary cards, coloring books, Karagöz and Hacivat sets and mind games like mangala and chess.
The Yunus Emre Institute keeps working in Kızılay Community Center to help Syrian children to learn Turkish, as well. The Syrian refugees who have learnt Turkish in Turkey and again began to work here is given Business Turkish as well by The Yunus Emre Institute.