Exclusive - Displaced Syrian Students Keep up with Lebanese Counterparts

Exclusive - Displaced Syrian Students Keep up with Lebanese Counterparts

Sunday, 18 November, 2018 - 09:45
Syrian refugee students sit in their classroom at a Lebanese public school. (AP)
Beirut - Sanaa el-Jack
The number of Syrian students enrolled in formal education in Lebanon is 213,358, of whom 59,149 study in the normal morning hours, and 154,209 attend school in the afternoon. This record - not found in any other country - reflects the size of Syrian refugees compared to to the population of Lebanon.

“Lebanese public schools receive the highest proportion of refugee students in the world compared to the population,” said Fadi Yaraq, director general of the Ministry of Education.

The enrollment of Syrian pupils in public schools is supported by international donors, especially the European Union, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom and many United Nations agencies, through the ministry’s launch of the Education for All Children in Lebanon in 2014.

“The education of Syrian students in Lebanon is funded by the European Union, Germany, Britain, Norway, France and the United States. The transfers are carried out through the Ministry of Education from UNICEF, the UNHCR and World Bank,” Yaraq noted.

"In the afternoon hours, around 14,328 employees work for the Syrian refugees, of whom 2,076 hold administrative posts, 9,124 are teachers, 1,051 are psychologists and counselors, 364 are directors and 1,712 are supervisors,” he added.

He noted that Syrian students have registered remarkable successes in official examinations.

“Their results were slightly lower compared to those recorded by Lebanese students.”

“The first observation is that there is a disparity between the ages of Syrians within the same class,” said Fadia Wehbe, a specialist in psychology and a primary school teacher.

She told Asharq Al-Awsat that some students did not attend school for one or two years, which necessitated subjecting them to courses for literacy and rehabilitation of the subjects in general. Those students were later evaluated and distributed according to their academic and scientific level.

“Despite the differences in age, a large percentage of students caught up on what they missed,” she added.

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