Over 300,000 Syrian children are not in school in Turkey, making up 35 percent of all the school-age children from the war-battered neighboring country, a report by the Turkish Education Ministry has said, according to a report by Deutsche Welle's Turkish service.
According to the report, there are 1.1 million Syrian children at school age, but only 65 percent of them are attending schools. Some 393,547 – 35 percent – of them are not going to schools, it said.
“There are 1,124,353 [aged 5-17] people under temporary protection at school age, according to the 2021-2022 figures of the Migration Office. Some 730,806 of those at school age have been included in education as of January 2022 and the students’ enrollment in schools are continuing,” it said in the report.
Of the children enrolled in schools, 49.33 percent of them are girls, while 50.77 percent of them are boys.
While the rate of children in primary schools stands at 75.13 percent, there are far fewer children in nurseries and teens in high schools.
Around 80 percent of the Syrian children at middle school age are in education, but only 42.65 percent of those at high school age are enrolled in schools.
The rate of those in nurseries is far lower. Only 34.34 percent of the total number of little Syrian children are going to kindergartens.
Syrian boys outnumber girls in kindergartens, primary and middle schools, while the number of Syrian female students in high schools is higher than those of male students.
Most of the Syrian students are in Istanbul, the southeastern province of Gaziantep and the southern province of Hatay.
The Education Ministry said enrollment in high school among Syrian students was low because high school education is not compulsory in their home country, while many of them preferred to work instead of going to school to contribute to their families’ incomes due to financial hardships.
The ministry added that some families in certain Turkish provinces were not enrolling their children over hopes they will leave Turkey and move to a third country.
The ministry avoided placing any blame on itself over the hundreds of thousands of Syrian children not in school and said language barriers and Syrian family traditions may be reasons behind the number of children out of school.
Turkey has become home to over a million Syrian children whose families fled their country after unrest began in March 2011 there.