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Turkey: Up to 650,000 refugee kids enrolled in schools

Syrian students living in refugee camps in Turkey receive their end of year school certificates [Anadolu]
Syrian students living in refugee camps in Turkey receive their end of year school certificates [Anadolu]

Turkey has quickly figured out how to use public resources to get more than half a million refugee children enrolled in schools, head of a Turkish charity working on refuge issues said Friday, reports Anadolu Agency.

On the UN's International Education Day, Refugee Support Center (MUDEM) General Coordinator Safa Karatas underlined Turkey's success in meeting the needs of thousands of refugee children.

"Turkey has quickly managed to mobilize public resources and approximately 645,000 refugee children were enrolled in schools in a very short period, while the need was high above its capacity," Karatas said.

"The right of education is supported in Turkey for all children whose families have sought international or temporary protection, and they have rights to enroll in public schools," he added.

READ: Syria schoolgirl urges Turkey to stop deporting refugees

Stressing a variety of adult education activities that refugees can benefit from, such as Turkish language courses and vocational activities which are offered for free by Turkey's Ministry of National Education (MEB) General Directorate of Lifelong Learning, Karatas drew attention to the importance of education for the integration process.

He said refugees are mostly interested in learning Turkish which helps them stand on their own and adapt socially.

"One of the biggest problems that migrant children face in the process of social cohesion is the language barrier," he said, adding that communicating in Turkish is a serious obstacle not only in education but also in daily life, hospitals, and public institutions.

He also said education can prevent children from situations like early marriage and child labor by helping increase their cohesion level.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed January 24, as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.

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