A recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed Turkey as the member country with the highest rate of youth, ages 15 to 24, without a job or access to education.
The OECD's report titled "Youth and COVID-19: Response, Recovery and Resilience" revealed Turkey's youth who isn't employed or in school to be just below 25 percent in the latest available year, a drop from 2010 when that number was just below 30 percent.
February data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) revealed the segment of youth who are both unemployed and out of school to be 26.7 percent.
Turkey's youth unemployment spiked to 25 percent in December of 2019, reaching the highest level in six years, the data from TÜİK revealed, as well as a critically low labor force participation of 42.5 percent in the age group.
Youth unemployment rate dropped marginally in TÜİK's February data to 24,4 percent, although the same dataset observed a drop in employment and workforce participation rates at once, raising questions about its integrity.Turkey's former economy czar Babacan slams official unemployment numbers
"Youth organizations expressed greatest concern about the impact of COVID-19 on mental well-being, employment, income loss, disruptions to education," the OECD data said about the global landscape of the youth.
The OECD report revealed that just under 70 percent of students in Turkey had access to a computer for schoolwork during the pandemic, although the distribution across schools was uneven at best.
Only 40 percent of students in disadvantaged schools had access to a computer, while this number was at 90 percent for students in advantaged schools, revealing severe inequality in access.
The disparity among students in Turkey was only trumped by that in Colombia and Mexico, who had more than a 50 percent gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students.
The OECD noted that some 1.5 billion students worldwide were affected by COVID-19 related school closures.