Turkey's role in educating Syrian children lauded
Turkey has set an example for the rest of the world in the way it has integrated Syrian children into the Turkish education system, the EU delegation head to Turkey said Friday.
Christian Berger was speaking in capital Ankara at the opening ceremony of an EU-funded 650 million euro ($759.95 million) project, for the integration of Syrian children into the Turkish education system.
"We have to say that it is an example for the rest of the world," he said.
"This project shows us once again how hospitable the Turkish people are to the refugee population," he added.
Berger noted that Turkey was hosting more than 3 million Syrian refugees, and also providing them education and healthcare.
"Considering all of this, we once again need to say that what has been done in Turkey is very impressive," he said.
The UN Children's Fund, the UN Refugee Agency and the Red Crescent Society would be the implementing partners of the project, he added.
"Education is not just about school buildings. Well-educated teachers and curricula are also required. The right teaching atmosphere is also crucial so that the personal development and transfer of knowledge can turn into the success of children," he said.
He applauded Turkey's Ministry of National Education and the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) for their "great contribution to integrate 570,000 Syrian children in the education system at an accelerating pace".
"It is our duty to give them the best opportunities to build their future," Berger said.
Turkey hosts 3.2 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world, according to official figures.
Ankara has spent $25 billion in helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
Syria has remained locked in a vicious civil war since 2011. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed by the conflict and millions more displaced, according to UN figures.