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Syrian Refugee Students’ Lived Experiences at Temporary Education Centres in Turkey

Education, Immigration and Migration

ISBN: 978-1-78756-045-1, eISBN: 978-1-78756-044-4

Publication date: 10 July 2019


Turkey hosts around three million Syrian refugees and asylum-seekers, more than any other country in the world. Most of the Syrian refugees and asylum-seekers face poverty-related barriers to education, with parents unable to legally work or meet associated costs, or feeling they have no option but to send their children to work rather than school. According to a UNICEF report (January, 2017), even though there is a 50% increase in school attendance for Syrian refugee children in Turkey since June 2016, more than 40% of them (around 390,000) are still not receiving an education. One of the biggest challenges for the Syrian refugee children who are able to go to school in Turkey is the language barrier. The language of instruction in Turkish public schools is Turkish while majority of the Syrian refugee children grew up learning and speaking Arabic. Furthermore, the refugee children often encounter experiences of discrimination, exclusion and marginalization from the non-refugee peers and teachers who cannot recognize and meet the diverse needs of these children with their lack of teaching experience in the culturally diverse classrooms. This narrative research examines the lived experiences of Syrian refugee children attending a Temporary Education Centre (TEC) in a city located in the north-west of Turkey. Narrative research is a way of inquiring into individual and social dimensions of experience over time through storytelling. It is often employed to illuminate the experiences of marginalized or excluded individuals and communities. Given the influx of refugee children in TECs and schools in Turkey, it is important to provide an in-depth understanding of the refugee children’s lived reality in schools and centres particularly, the factors contributing to their academic success, resilience and psychological well-being, so that future studies will have a basis for further investigations of newcomers.



Eryaman, M.Y. and Evran, S. (2019), "Syrian Refugee Students’ Lived Experiences at Temporary Education Centres in Turkey", Arar, K., Brooks, J.S. and Bogotch, I. (Ed.) Education, Immigration and Migration (Studies in Educational Administration), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 131-143.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © Mustafa Yunus Eryaman and Sümeyye Evran, 2019