NİZİP/GAZİANTEP, March 18, 2015 – A new education centre for Syrian children officially opened in Gaziantep, Nizip today. The UNICEF-supported education centre was built in partnership with AFAD, and the Ministry of National Education, and with the financial support of the Government of Luxembourg. With a capacity of 1,080 students, the centre has 12 classrooms: 10 for primary education and two for pre-school education.
With the conflict in Syria now entering its fifth year, 2 million Syrian children are living as refugees, mainly in neighbouring countries. There are more than 1.6 million Syrians now living in Turkey, including 900,000 children of whom almost 550,000 are of school age.
In Turkey UNICEF supports the efforts of the Ministry of National Education (MONE), AFAD, local authorities, and other stakeholders to provide quality education to children of all ages in camp and non-camp settings. Including the Nizip centre, UNICEF has so far supported the establishing of 27 education centres which provide access to education for over 29,000 Syrian children. Moreover four new education centres, with 24 classrooms each, are currently under construction in partnership with AFAD and the Ministry of National Education.
Having indicated that there is still a lot to do to realize Syrian children’s right to education, Arlette Conzemius, the Ambassador of Luxembourg, said they were very happy to see that this education centre was established with their support thanks to the assistance of UNICEF. “Luxembourg will renew its financial support for the current year of 2015”, she added.
At the opening ceremony for the Nizip Temporary Education Centre, Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF Turkey Representative declared: “Support for education is vital. Education is not only a basic right of children; it is also crucial for their recovery and future. We need to continue our collective efforts to ensure that all Syrian children get access to quality education opportunities.”