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Press Centre (11/2017)

A new school to reach more Syrian and Turkish children

With a total capacity of 1,380 students, the school has 24 classrooms: 20 for primary level and 4 for pre-school education and will provide a safe environment in which children can learn and thrive. 

KAHRAMANMARAŞ, November 15, 2017 – A new school for Turkish, Syrian and other refugee children was officially opened in Kahramanmaraş today. The school was built under a partnership between the Ministry of National Education, the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and UNICEF, with the financial support of KfW on behalf of the Federal Government of Germany. 

With a total capacity of 1,380 students, the school has 24 classrooms: 20 for primary level and 4 for pre-school education and will provide a safe environment in which children can learn and thrive. Teaching in the school will be in Turkish and will follow the national curriculum.

With the conflict in Syria now well into its seventh year, Turkey is home to the largest refugee population in the world including over 3.2 million Syrians – 1.4 million of whom are children. As of October 2017, over 600,000 Syrian children are enrolled in schools across the country - nevertheless, it is estimated that more than 350,000 are still out of school.
In partnership with the Government of Turkey, UNICEF is supporting the national education system, to increase access to learning and improve the quality of inclusive education for both Turkish and refugee children.

Robert Dölger declared at the ceremony: “The common task must be to give refugees hope and opportunities for taking their lives in their own hands and to enable them to lead a life in dignity! In this sense by supporting projects like this school building and many other projects, the German Government proofs its commitment to work together with Turkey.”

Preventing the loss of a generation of children

Since 2014, UNICEF used the generous financial support received from the German Government for the following achievements: One new school and 282 container classrooms (container based) were built benefiting more than 21,600 students. More than 200 temporary education centers were renovated or refurnished in Kahramanmaraş, Kilis, Hatay and Adana. Over 6,500 Syrian volunteer teachers were provided with monthly incentives and over 68,000 Syrian students across the country received school bags and stationery kits. More than 62,000 children have benefitted from recreational activities and psycho-social support at UNICEF-supported Child and Adolescent Friendly Spaces across the country, including in 23 child and adolescent friendly spaces established in 10 provinces.

At the opening of the school in Kahramanmaraş, Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF Representative to Turkey declared: “UNICEF is grateful for the strong commitment of Turkey and the important support of Germany to provide every child - Turkish or refugee - with a quality education. By investing in children’s education, we are investing not only in their future - but in our own future too”.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org  www.unicef.org.tr

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For more information:
Sema Hosta, UNICEF Turkey: +90 312 454 1010, shosta@unicef.org
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