180 new schools for Turkey
News from 2019-09-18 / KfW Development Bank
KfW, on behalf of the European Union (EU), is providing almost EUR 100 million for the construction of around 180 schools and kindergartens in Turkey. The contract was signed in Ankara on 18 September. The Turkish education system is overwhelmed due to the arrival of Syrian refugee children. The new schools will benefit Syrian and Turkish students alike.
Overcrowded classrooms and teaching in double shifts are currently part of everyday life in many schools in Turkey. 3.5 million refugees from Syria currently live in Turkey, making it the largest host country in the world. Among the refugees are one million school-age children, 400,000 of whom have not been attending school. The construction of new schools will improve the situation in Turkey's education sector. Most of the new schools will be built in the southeast of the country, near the Syrian border, but also in Istanbul and Ankara.
The EUR 100 million that has now been agreed will be provided by the EU's Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRiT). With this funding, the programme is now entering its third phase. KfW is supporting a total of as many as 340 new schools and kindergartens with EUR 405 million in three phases from 2017 to 2023. Ten primary and secondary schools and 170 kindergartens for children aged three to five are planned for the third phase of financing. Going to kindergarten makes it easier for Syrian children to learn Turkish and become integrated in the Turkish educational system. A public education centre will also be built. One innovation in the third programme phase that has now been agreed upon is the innovative design for some pilot school buildings. The design is particularly sustainable and aims to modernise existing school models in Turkey in terms of energy efficiency, ecology and space for new educational concepts.
The programme's efforts to date have proven successful. Thirty-four prefabricated schools have already been completed, while construction work has begun at another 54 locations and is in some cases at an advanced stage. Construction contracts for another 60 schools are expected to be signed soon.
The new schools will help to integrate Syrian children into the Turkish school system. They ease the burden on the host communities and also benefit Turkish pupils because smaller classes can be formed again. Teaching in double shifts is not necessary as often.