Turkey has granted scholarships to 20,000 Syrian students, a senior representative of a Turkish education institution told Anadolu Agency (AA).
Sayit Yusuf, deputy head of the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), said: "We have awarded scholarships to 20,000 Syrian university students. Approximately 4,500 of these are a full bursary as part of Turkey's scholarships." Yusuf said Turkey is training Syrians for reconstruction of their country in the future. The trained Syrians will contribute to the reconstruction of Syria, Yusuf said, adding the scholars will return to their country as "friends of Turkey."
Education of refugees is a major concern for Turkey which eyes better integration of refugees as there is no end in sight to the conflict, necessitating a longer stay for Syrians in Turkey. Of the 1.5 million child refugees, more than 610,000 are enrolled in school and the Education Ministry strives to have the rest enrolled as well. Amid mass displacement and attacks, most Syrians are forced to drop out of school, joining the so-called "lost generation" of refugees without proper education. Experts warn that the lack of education spells trouble for refugees in the future and lessens their chance to escape from economic dependence.