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Press Centre (1/2014)

Syrian children celebrate first school reports in UNICEF-built camp school

Kindergarden students were the most excited and happiest children who have received their first school reports. ©UNICEF/Turkey-2014/Yurtsever

January 24th was a day of great excitment for 2,544 Syrian children living in the Islahiye tent city in Turkey’s Gaziantep province - and another small milestone in UNICEF’s efforts to ensure that young Syrians who have fled the violence in their country are able to continue their education.

This was the day when the first semester came to an end at the camp school and the pupils received their first school reports from their teachers. The school, which opened in November 2013, was constructed by UNICEF in partnership with the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkey (AFAD).

Most excited of all were the first-grade students receiving their first-ever school reports. Among them was Tac Ismail, aged 7. Tac, who fled from the province of Hama, said that she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. Serif Abroz, whose family fled from the city of Edlib, told us that he will play with his friends a lot during the two-week holiday.

Thise present to witness the distribution of school reports included Islahiye District Governor Unal Cakıcı, Gaziantep AFAD Manager Sinan Atakan, representatives of the Ministry of National Education and camp managers. UNICEF Turkey presented the Syrian children receiving their school reports with marker-and-notebook sets.

“As UNICEF, our first priority is to enable Syrian children to continue their education and to prevent them from becoming a lost generation,” said UNICEF Turkey Representative Dr. Ayman Abulaban. “We are putting our time and energy into making sure that Syrian children can continue their schooling uninterrupted and receive a quality education. We will be opening more new schools in other camps in the upcoming semester. I would like to congratulate all the children on their school reports and wish them every success throughout the course of their education.”

Operating on a double-shift  basis, the Islahiye camp school is providing education for 245 nursery school, 1,198 primary school, 957 elementary school and 144 high school students in a total of 46 classrooms. There are a total of 69 very dedicated teachers, of whom 64 are Syrian and five Turkish.

Story and photos by Ayberk Yurtsever

UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org