Refugee students attending class at the Syrian School in the Turkish city of Ceylanpinar. Photo: ARA News
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Ceylanpinar, Turkey – The Turkish city of Ceylanpinar, at the border with Syria, was one of the first cities to host Syrian refugees who fled mounting violence and deteriorating economic conditions overshadowing
areas across the country due to the ongoing crisis.
However, refugees found themselves facing different hardships, including the scarcity of educational opportunities.
Haya al-Ali, a teacher at the recently established Syrian School in Ceylanpinar, southern Turkey, told ARA News that the war “destroyed the presents as well as the future of children who were forced to leave their schools and books”.
“Syrian children here (in Ceylanpinar) did not lose hope of completing their study, unlike their peers in other Turkish cities,” she said. “In Ceylanpinar, several schools for Syrian refugee children were established with efforts of NGOs.”
Speaking to ARA News, Ranim Hassan, a mother of two school-age children, talked about the misery the children in Ceylanpinar experienced for two years before the establishment of Syrian Schools.
“Those two years were long enough for our children to wander the streets and do hard jobs for low wages barely enough to survive,” Hassan said.
Abdussalam Tabba, 10, who left his hometown of Aleppo in northern Syria, had paint spots on his hands when he talked to ARA News in Celanpinar, saying: “I attend school then join my father who works as a painter. I help him because the wage he earns is not enough to support the entire family.”
“I help him so he can finish early and take another job. I learnt this profession anyways,” Tabba said.
After three months of its opening, the Syrian School in Ceylanpinar is still unable to solve the education-related issues such as lack of Arabic textbooks and other basic items.
Primary stage teacher Farah Ibrahim told ARA News: “We spend double the efforts necessary to teach the children. My colleagues and I print the lessons and distribute them to students, as books are unavailable.”
Ibrahim highlighted the main problem Syrian refugee children in Turkey are facing: “Their education was suspended for more than two years due to the displacement caused by the current war. So most of them lost their educational skills and starting again takes a lot of effort.”
Noteworthy, the Syrian School in Ceylanpinar receives students of primary stage, while those who need to attend secondary stage are left out due to the limited capacity of the school and the fact that there is no secondary schools.
Bayan Mohammed, a secondary school student who left Syria nearly two years ago with her family, talked to ARA News about her disappointment with being unable to complete her studies in Ceylanpinar.
“I’ve been waiting for two years now for an opportunity to continue my studies in Turkey; however, I’m still hopeful that life will not stop at this horrific phase and I’ll be able one day to continue building my future without giving up,” she said.
Many Syrian refugee families in Turkey expressed their concerns about the future of their children after years of displacement.
Reporting by: Sherin Perik
Source: ARA News