School Principals Views on Syrian Refugee Students’ Education in Turkey: Challenges and Recommendations

Metin Özkan, Özgür Çakmak


The aim of the present study was to identify the administrative problems that school principals face at schools in the city located in the east of Turkey with high Syrian student population and to provide suggestions for overcoming these problems. The city is a province in Turkey having the highest ratio of Syrian to Turkish population with 95.61 %. Therefore, the city is an important topic for the education and social integration of Syrian students. Based on the findings, it has been identified that school principals experience problems such as language and communication problems, crowded classrooms and environments, registration uncertainties, accordance between the parents (Turkish-Syrian), school culture, discipline and behavior. In addition, problems were also identified under headings such as financial resource insufficiency, personnel requirements and in-service training requirements. It has been emphasized that making courses more active, increasing the number of course hours for the targeted culture language will be more beneficial for overcoming the language issues. It has also been indicated that equal distribution of Syrian students to the schools and balancing the student ratio in the province through the use of transportation options if necessary will also be beneficial.


Syrian Refugees, School Principal, Refugee Education Problems, Language Barriers, Turkey

Full Text:



Aktay, E. G. & Gültekin, M. (2015). Peer collaboration and early reading and writing teaching. Trakya University Journal of Social Science, 17(1), 291-309.

Aydın, H., & Kaya, Y. (2019). Education for Syrian refugees: The new global issue facing teachers and principals in Turkey. Educational Studies, 55(1), 46-71.

Aykırı, K. (2017). The opinions of the class teachers regarding the educational situations of the Syrian students in their classes. Turkish Journal of Primary Education, 2(1), 44-56.

Cin, G. (2018). Living problems and self-efficacy level of classroom teachers who educate to Syrian students (Adana province example) [Unpublished Master Thesis]. Çağ University.

Demir Başaran, S. (2020). Teachers' views on the education of Syrian refugees. Education and Science, Early Release, 1-24.

Dillioğlu, B. (2015). Integration of Syrian refugees: Turkey’s education and employment policies. The Academic Journal of the Middle East, 10 (1).

Emin, N. M. (2016). Educating Syrian refugees in Turkey and basic education policies. Ankara: SETA Publications.

Erdem, C. (2017). Instructional problems experienced by primary school teachers who have refugee students in their classes and their solutions for problems. Journal of Medeniyet Educational Research, 1(1), 26-42.

Ereş, F. (2016). Problems of the immigrant students’ teacher: Are they ready to teach?. International Education Studies, 9(7), 64-71.

GIGM (2018). Göç İstatistikleri. [Online] Available:

Güçer, M., Karaca, S., & Dinçer, O. B. (2013). The struggle for life between borders: Syrian refugees. International Strategic Research Organization (USAK).

Harunoğulları, M. & Cengiz, D. (2015). Suriyeli göçmenlerin mekânsal analizi: Hatay (Antakya) örneği. Yazılı Bildiri, TÜCAUM VIII. Coğrafya Sempozyumu Bildiriler Kitabı, 309-318.

Karadağ, Ö. & Altıntaş, K. H. (2010). Refugees and health. TAF Preventive Medicine Bulletin, 9(1), 55-62.

Kardeş, S., & Akman, B. (2018). Teachers' views on the education of Syrian refugees. Elementary Education Online, 17(3), 1224–1237.

Kiremit, F., Akpınar, Ü., & Akcan, A. T. (2018). Teachers' views about Syrian students’ adaptation to school. Kastamonu Education Journal, 26(6), 21-39.

Levent, F., & Çayak, S. (2017). School administrators’ views on Syrian students’ education in Turkey. Journal of the Hasan Ali Yücel Faculty of Education, 14(27), 21-46.

Mercan Uzun, E. & Bütün, E. (2016). Teachers' views on the problems faced by Syrian refugee children in preschool education institutions. International Journal of Early Childhood Education Studies, 1(1), 72-83.

Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Ministry of National Education [MoNE] (2016). Suriyeli çocukların eğitimi için yol haritası belirlendi. [Online] Available: /haber/ 11750/tr#

Özer, Y., Komsuoğlu, A., & Ateşok, Z. Ö. (2016). Education of Syrian children in Turkey: Problems and suggestions. The Journal of Academic Social Science, 4(37), 76-110.

Sakız, H. (2016). Migrant children and school cultures: A suggestion for inclusion. Göç Dergisi, 3(1), 65-81.

Sarıer, Y. (2020). Student education for refugees in Turkey on the meta-synthesis study: problems and solution suggestions. Journal of New Approaches in Education, 3(1), 80-111.

Sarıtaş, E., Şahin, Ü., & Çatalbaş, G. (2016). Problems faced with foreign students in primary schools. Pamukkale University Journal of Social Sciences Institute, 25(1), 208-229.

Seydi, A.R. (2014). Policies of Turkey regarding the solution of educational problems of Syrian refugees. SDU Faculty of Arts and Sciences Journal of Social Sciences, 31, 267-305.

Şahin, S., & Sümer, S. (2018). The Problems experienced in the integration process of Syrian Students into the Turkish education system. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 6(5), 909-918.

Şimşir, Z., & Dilmaç, B. (2018). Problems teachers' face and solution proposals in the schools where the foreign students are educated. Elementary Education Online, 17(3), 1719-1737.

Taştan, C., & Çelik, Z. (2017). Syrian children's education in Turkey: Challenges and recommendations. Eğitim-Bir-Sen Strategic Research Center.

Toker Gokce, A., & Acar, E. (2018). School principals' and teachers' problems related to the education of refugee students in Turkey. European Journal of Educational Research, 7(3), 473-484.

Tosun, A., Yorulmaz, A., & Yıldız, K. (2018). Problems and expectations of refugee students about education and religious education: Case of Eskişehir. Journal of Social Sciences Eskişehir Osmangazi University, 19(1), 107-133.

Yavuz, O., & Mızrak, S. (2016). Education of school-age children in emergencies: The case of Syrian refugees in Turkey. Göç Dergisi, 3(2), 175-199.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies  

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.