Title

The aspiration and access to public education of Syrian refugees in Turkey

Location

1047

Format Type

Plenary

Format Type

Paper

Start Date

January 2019

End Date

January 2019

Abstract

This study addresses the educational status and needs of Syrian refugees at Turkish schools and the perspectives of teachers and school principals of Syrian refugee students and pays renewed attention to the notion of educational integration. Data were collected from an ongoing qualitative interpretive case study research project using semi-structured interviews with teachers and principals who working with Syrian refugees in two inner-city elementary schools in Istanbul, Turkey. The results indicate that Turkish public schools provide many Syrian children in Istanbul with access to education that addresses the needs and challenges associated with the refugee school-age children. These schools have provided a welcoming environment and have taken steps to remove administrative barriers to enrollment and free-of-charge education. However, because of language-related issues and limited access to necessities, Syrian children are often profoundly traumatized and in need of comprehensive psychological support. For those students who have been enrolled in Turkish public schools, much of the responsibility for managing these concerns falls on school administrators, school counselors and classroom teachers, pointing to an urgent need to prepare these professionals to cope with the growing crisis.

Keywords

educational needs, barriers, psychological support, qualitative study, Syrian refugees, children, Turkey

Comments

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Jan 18th, 11:30 AM Jan 18th, 11:50 AM

The aspiration and access to public education of Syrian refugees in Turkey

1047

This study addresses the educational status and needs of Syrian refugees at Turkish schools and the perspectives of teachers and school principals of Syrian refugee students and pays renewed attention to the notion of educational integration. Data were collected from an ongoing qualitative interpretive case study research project using semi-structured interviews with teachers and principals who working with Syrian refugees in two inner-city elementary schools in Istanbul, Turkey. The results indicate that Turkish public schools provide many Syrian children in Istanbul with access to education that addresses the needs and challenges associated with the refugee school-age children. These schools have provided a welcoming environment and have taken steps to remove administrative barriers to enrollment and free-of-charge education. However, because of language-related issues and limited access to necessities, Syrian children are often profoundly traumatized and in need of comprehensive psychological support. For those students who have been enrolled in Turkish public schools, much of the responsibility for managing these concerns falls on school administrators, school counselors and classroom teachers, pointing to an urgent need to prepare these professionals to cope with the growing crisis.