The Lebanese government hopes to to enroll 200,000 Syrian students in Lebanese public schools this year, Education Minister Elias Bou Saab said Wednesday.
“Last year 104,000 Syrian refugee students were taught in Lebanese schools. This year we are aiming to double the number of Syrian children in our public schools to 200,000 students, subject to the funding we receive,” he said.
A “management team” from the Education Ministry has been tasked with overseeing a scaled-up enrollment effort this September.
U.K. Minister of State for International Development Desmond Swayne Wednesday met with Bou Saab and congratulated the Lebanese authorities on their integration of Syrian students into the national school system.
The U.K. has been one of the main supporters of Lebanon’s education system in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis, contributing $93 million in aid over the past five years.
At a joint news conference with Bou Saab, Swayne announced “an additional $15 million for this school year to help fill the remaining finance gaps.”
Bou Saab said that a lack of adequate financing has proved “the biggest constraint [to] … providing education to children last year.”
Ross Mountain, the U.N.’s outgoing resident and humanitarian coordinator in Lebanon, encouraged the international community to follow the United Kingdom’s lead in funding education for vulnerable populations in the country.
“We urge the international community to continue investing in education for all vulnerable children, not only to protect children’s futures, but also as protection against the growing risks of abuses and exploitation.”
© The Daily Star 2015
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