10 SES 13 C, Second Class Teachers? – Practices of Further Education and Employment of Teachers with Refugee Background
The deficit-oriented perspective towards refugees blurs the high qualifications that refugees bring with them to the host country and makes a trained and well educated refugee population invisible. The case of refugee teachers in Turkey is challenged by various reasons. Turkey has not got the detailed registries about the refugees it accepts and unfortunately it cannot be said clearly how many teachers, pedagogues or academic staff are holding refugee status in Turkey. On the one hand, experienced and trained teaching force cannot be employed in their specialization and on the other hand, teaching for the Syrian kids are conducted sometimes by physicians, engineers or lawyers (Emin, 2016). According to the statistics of United Nations, Turkey hosts 2.814.631 Syrian refugees in total and 872.535 of all are at school age (UNCHR, 2017). At the first years of flight into Turkey, supplying basic humanitarian aid overshadowed the educational needs of the refugee population. Later, the permanency of Syrian refugees became more visible; and starting from 09.2014, all kids who hold a refugee status finally got the right to be schooled by the local education authorities either in state schools or in the temporary education centers beyond the camps where they learn an adapted Syrian curriculum in Turkish and Arabic taught by Syrian and Turkish teachers. Providing this right for education created the need for Arabic speaking teachers who are familiar with Syrian curriculum and many refugees were employed as teachers regardless of their training background. Another challenge for the Syrian refugee teachers is work permit. Unfortunately, due to work permit restrictions, Syrian refugee teachers could work in the schools, inside or outside camps, only on a voluntary basis until the special regulation in the working law was issued at 16. January 2016, which held some of the refugee teachers back from teaching. Since the introduction of the regulation, Syrian teachers can be employed with special contract by the local education councils. With this research, I try to examine this regulation, its practices, personal benefits introduced, requirements for teaching, job applications, work-place conditions, expectations. The research adopts a combination of qualitative research means; namely, field notes, interviews, and an analysis of existing practices, regulations, and rules. Refugee teachers who are employed in education related positions or the ones who are seeking for employment were the data sources. Additionally, their native colleagues who had the chance to work with refugee teachers, teacher educators were also included in the study.
Emin, M.B. (2016). Türkiye’deki Suriyeli çocukların eğitimi: Temel Eğitim Politikaları. (The education of Syrian kids in Turkey: Basic education policies). Analiz, 153. Retrieved from http://file.setav.org/Files/Pdf/20160309195808_turkiyedeki-suriyeli-cocuklarin-egitimi-pdf.pdf UNCHR. (2017). Syria regional refugee response. Retrieved from http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php
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