Submitted by: Rıdvan Kurtipek, Expert, Directorate General of Social Assistance, Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services of the Republic of Turkey
Email Address: [email protected]
Introduction to the project
From 2003 and ongoing.
Conditional Cash Transfer for Education Programme CCTE) is a national social assistance programme implemented by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services since 2003. The objective of the program is to improve school attendance. It is implemented by the Directorate General of Social Assistance of the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services through the use of the Integrated Social Assistance Information System (ISAIS) (Executing All Processes via ISAIS: Automation, Transparency, Full Control, Accountability, Simultaneous Automatic Registration).
Extension of the CCTE programme to Syrians under temporary protection and other refugees is being implemented through a partnership between the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, the Ministry of National Education, the Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The programme is being funded by European Union Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).
The objective of the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education Programme is to increase access to education and encourage children to continue their education. The eligibility criteria are: (a) all members of the family must be registered in Turkey, (b) the family must not have any regular income at the time of application (including no high value or income-generating assets), (c) no member of the family must have social security, and (d) the family must have at least one school-going child at the time of application.
The programme aims to increase the number of refugee children in schools by promoting school attendance, reducing drop-out rates, and encouraging enrolment. Applications for the CCTE programme are accepted through Social Assistance Solidarity Foundations (SASFs). There are 1003 SASFs in total in each province and district of Turkey.
Funding by European Union, Norway and the United Stated of America.
Main activities of the Good Practice
Payments to beneficiaries are made on bi-monthly basis (Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Nov) on the condition of regular school attendance. At least 80% monthly school attendance is required for payment eligibility in any month. The data on school attendance are verified through the systems of the Ministry of National Education based on the data obtained from ISAIS. The amounts paid depend on the gender and grades of the school-going children. As of April in 2020, Kindergarten and primary school children (from kindergarten to 8th grade) are entitled to a monthly amount of 45 TRY for boys and 50 TRY for girls. Similarly, students in high school (from 9th to 12th grade) receive monthly an amount of 55 TRY for boys and 75 TRY TL for girls. Furthermore, 100 TRY per beneficiary child is paid at the beginning of each semester to support families to meet additional expenses associated with the beginning of a school term. As of September 2019, among beneficiaries, children in grades 5 to 8 receive an additional top-up of 100 TL at the beginning of the term and children in grades 9 to 12 (as well as ALP) receive an additional top-up of 150 TL at the beginning of the term. Students in ALP receive a monthly amount of 75 TL regardless of gender for each month they regularly attend classes.
DG Social Assistance made additional social assistance payments for refugees in Turkey in order to mitigate the potential risks for the beneficiaries of CCTE programme in response to Covid-19 pandemic.
For the beneficiaries of CCTE Programme, an additional payment of 85 TL was made for once and number of beneficiaries who benefitted from this additional payment is 85.814 during the November 2020 payment period.
The programme also includes a child protection component, which is implemented in partnership with UNICEF. This component aims at sustaining positive education outcomes; mitigating child protection risks and violations, which are closely intertwined with economic vulnerabilities (such as child labour, child marriage, physical and emotional violence and family separation) and reducing the damage caused by exposure of children to violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect, and family separation.
- Turkish Red Crescent (TRC)
- Ministry of National Education (MoNE)
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
- European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Directorate General (ECHO)
How challenges were overcome
Majority of refugees in Turkey live in towns and cities; not in camps. Therefore, preventing social tension between Syrians and the host communities was one of the major challenges. In order to address this challenge, the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education programme is implemented through KIZILAYKART platform rather than the system for Turkish nationals’ social assistance beneficiaries. Secondly, the transfer value for the CCTE is the same with the amount that Turkish citizens benefit through national CCTE.
The need for education support is necessary for any kind of expectation for human capital development. And over 1 million refugees in Turkey are children. It should be noted that these needs are not a fixed quantity but will fluctuate depending on the changing number of refugees and estimated time of their stay in Turkey. The Turkish education system has made great progress in its integration of refugees but will find ensuring continuity of this progress a challenge without significantly higher national resources and/or additional donor support. There is no budgetary space or policy arrangement at present to allow for continuing funding the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education programme for refugees without external support. Therefore, the funding of the CCTE programme must continue as long as refugee situation continues.
Results of the Good Practice
Turkey is home to the largest number of refugees, standing at more than 4 million. Around 3.6 million are Syrians, of whom more than 1 million are children. In the first round of payments in May 2017, families of over 230000 refugee children received cash assistance. By November 2020 the number of enrollment in school among refugees is 684,919 and 666.193 of refugees were applied for CCTE programme and 668.900 of applicants become beneficiary at least one time. Besides, the number of CCTE beneficiaries reached 571.261
Through the child protection component to ensure continued school enrolment and attendance of most vulnerable refugee children, as of September 2020, the outreach teams consisting of social workers reached 77,241 children. To mitigate child protection risks and violations, which are closely intertwined with economic vulnerabilities, 6823 children are referred to specialized services.