EU-funded PIKTES Project organizes International Migration and Education Conference
Promoting the Integration of Syrian Children into the Turkish Education System (PIKTES) organized an International Migration and Education Conference on 18-19 April in İstanbul. The conference hosted 300 experts, researchers and trainers in 13 countries. Deputy Head of Delegation Gabriel Munuera-Vinals participated to the conference together with Deputy Minister of National Education Reha Denemeç and PIKTES Project Coordinator Pınar Özel.
Munuera-Vinals said in his opening remarks: "Investments in education have been essential to avoid a lost generation. Education lies not only at the heart of Europe but counts for the whole World. It is of critical importance to support children's development so that they can be enabled to bring positive contributions to our societies. This is why in total almost € 1.5 million were dedicated to the education sector under the Facility, including investments in school infrastructure for over €500 million. With the second generation of PIKTES starting up, the European Union stands ready to continue supporting the Ministry of National Education in this challenge. Turkey has definitely a lot to tell to the world about the work that has been done for integrating refugees into education, while building social cohesion with the communities that are hosting them. Likewise, the experience from other countries may help to further improve and inspire such work. "
The purpose of the conference is to inform the public on the results achieved through the project and to foster discussions and exchanges of best practices among countries dealing with integration of migrant children into schools. Key-note speakers included Turkish and international academicians, analysts from OECD, MoNE, the Norwegian Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies and institutional representatives from municipalities or central government from European and Middle-Eastern countries giving a broader perspective to the discussions.
The PIKTES project started its implementation in 2016 with the initial budget of €300M and the European Commission has announced a further grant of €400.000.000 to Turkey. It is being implemented in 23 provinces with intensive population of Syrian students. The project has major activities; namely Turkish language education, Arabic language education, Catch-up Training, Back-up training, transportation services, assistance in stationary items, course books and clothing, awareness activities, procurement of education materials, development of a Turkish language testing system, guidance and counselling services, provision of security and cleaning staff to schools and TECs, provision of education instruments, training of teachers, training of administrative and other personnel, monitoring and evaluation.