Vocational and Technical Education Scholarship in Türkiye
The project in brief
The project is implemented by Ministry of National Education, Directorate General of Lifelong Learning, Project on Promoting Integration of Syrian Kids into the Turkish Education System (PIKTES II) in Türkiye. It began on the 21 December 2018 and ended on the 21 January 2023.
To support the education of the students of Vocational and Technical Anatolian High Schools (VTAHS), Multi-Program Anatolian High Schools (MPAHS) (students attending vocational programmes) and Vocational Education Centres (VEC) in 26 provinces where the project is carried out, scholarships are provided to students to eliminate child labour, to encourage young people who lay off or quit their education, and to raise awareness about vocational and technical education. 47,272 students received scholarship in the scope of this project.
The project aims to:
- Improve students' vocational and technical education skills.
- Ensure the regular school attendance of Turkish students and foreigners under international protection and temporary protection who have socio-economic disadvantages, by increasing their level of motivation.
- Increase the employability of refugee children by providing them with vocational skills that will enable them to be self-dependent in adulthood.
- Direct students towards employment opportunities.
- Increase schooling rate of refugee students, which is low in secondary education not only due to cultural, family and economic reasons, and but also owing to the fact that secondary education is not compulsory in their own countries.
- Reduce dropout rates and improve schooling rates by offering a support for returning to school.
- Increase school attendance and prevent school dropouts thanks to the condition of regular school attendance for the scholarship awarded within the scope of the project.
Main activities of the Good Practice
The project is implemented in cooperation with the Directorate General for Vocational and Technical Education and 26 project teams. The process is undertaken through an online module that covers monitoring and payment. The scholarship is granted to the foreigners under international protection and temporary protection and to the Turkish students that live in the disadvantaged regions. The students who meet the eligibility criteria and regularly attend the school benefit from the scholarship opportunity. Within this scope, a cash support for "returning to school" is also offered by the beginning of each school year.
Elements which helped facilitate the implementation of the good practice
- Legislation on "the avoidance of preventing access to education and healthcare services under no circumstances and expansion of access to education" within the scope of the Law 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection dated 11 April 2013 and regulation on Temporary Protection dated 22 October 2014
- Implementation of the equal opportunity and inclusiveness policy of the Republic of Türkiye, particularly of the Ministry of National Education;
- Cooperation with the Directorate General for Vocational and Technical Education;
- Awareness raising campaigns within the scope of vocational and technical education scholarship
- Financing of the project by the European Union.
- The Ministry of National Education recently prioritizes Vocational and Technical Education. Recent protocols signed between the private sector and Vocational and Technical schools, as well as increased internship and employment opportunities have contributed to the goals of the project.
What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?
- The challenges which were encountered especially in the collection of students' data, correction of incorrect data, and school administrations' limited contact with students in the onset of PIKTES II Project Vocational and Technical Education Scholarship project during the COVID-19 pandemic process caused payment delays.
- Besides, there were problems in activating bank accounts due to frequent residential changes of the refugees linked to their mobility.
- Another challenge regarding scholarship payments was due to incorrect student ID information and IBAN information to be used for scholarship payments. Problems were faced in scholarship payments because information on students who were transferred to different educational institutions other than vocational education was not received on time.
How they were overcome
- Scholarship payments to students, who started to receive the "Vocational and Technical Education Scholarship" during the Covid-19 pandemic but failed to attend their schools due to the pandemic, were continued regardless of compulsory attendance condition.
- Families and students were frequently informed about the activation of their bank accounts through Provincial Coordination Teams and school administrative staff.
- By obtaining student information from the MERNIS system and getting bank accounts opened by the project management office, the mis-matching problem encountered due to Iban / ID information was solved. A collaboration was established with the Directorate General of Information Technology under the structure of the Ministry of National Education in order to solve the problems experienced due to the late receipt of necessary information of the students.
Results of the Good Practice
- The project has been effective in preventing child labor and school dropout.
- Students have shown more interest for Vocational and Technical Education Institutions.
- Schooling rate has been increased.
- School attendance has been ensured.
In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
The 'Vocational and Technical Education Scholarship' that is a good practice regarding the objectives set under the "Global Compact on Refugees," covers the compact's entire contents as it embraces the children of host communities and children under international protection and temporary protection and is conducted with an understanding of equal right to education / inclusiveness in education.
By supporting the Ministry of National Education in increasing schooling rates and school attendance, activities have been carried out in line with the current targets, especially in Vocational and Technical Education. It has contributed to students becoming qualified, self-standing and socially adapted through Vocational and Technical Education.
When students graduate from Vocational and Technical Education Institutions, they have internationally valid EuroPass certificate supplement issued by the institution, enabling transparent and clear understanding of their skills by the employers and educational institutions.
The contract for PIKTES Plus, which is the project's Phase III, was signed on 01.11.2022 and will cover a period of 36 months. PIKTES Plus activities will also cover Vocational and Technical Education Scholarship.
Are there areas in which support would be required to continue and/or scale up your good practice?
This scholarship is only for students registered in Vocational and Technical Education. The scope of the scholarship needs to be expanded in order to extend the positive experiences gained from this practice regarding schooling, school attendance and retainment in school to other types of schools.
It is expected that more resources will be allocated to provide scholarship opportunities for eligible students that have inventions, utility models, patents, etc. for encouraging success. Maintaining cooperation with stakeholders and raising awareness regarding the activities are essential for the effective implementation of the activity.