UNHCR and Ministry of Education rehabilitate 15 public schools across Lebanon
(Joun, LEBANON) – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, together with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, this week inaugurated the school rehabilitation and expansion project that was launched in 2018. Through this project, 15 Lebanese public schools across Lebanon were selected for renovation and expansion works, with the aim of enrolling a higher number of Lebanese and Syrian students while enhancing access to quality education in Lebanese public schools.
As part of this same project, the newly rehabilitated Joun mixed intermediate public school in Mount Lebanon was inaugurated by senior representatives of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and UNHCR. This follows the inauguration of the Terbol mixed intermediate public school in Zahle district, Bekaa that took place earlier this week by His Excellency Minister of Education and Higher Education Mr. Akram Chehayeb and UNHCR Representative in Lebanon Ms. Mireille Girard.
Minister Chehayeb said: ‘‘We meet today to inaugurate this school that UNHCR has rehabilitated and expanded in order to support the education of children, displaced children from Syria and the Lebanese community hosting them.”
H.E. Minister of Education and Higher Education Akram Chehayeb during the Terbol Public school inauguration ceremony
H.E. Minister of Education and Higher Education Akram Chehayeb and Mireille Girard, UNHCR Representative in Lebanon during the Terbol Public school inauguration ceremony
UNHCR Deputy Representative in Lebanon Emmanuel Gignac during the Joun Public School inauguration
Celebrations during the Joun Public School inauguration
Joun Public School inauguration
Over 4,200 Lebanese and refugee students in total, including children with specific needs and some 2,000 newly enrolled students, will be able to obtain an education as a result of the project. Thanks to generous flexible funds from UNHCR’s donors, US$ 7 million were invested in this project.
“We are continuously working to alleviate the strain on Lebanese institutions through projects such as this school rehabilitation project, which not only benefits Lebanese and refugee students now, but are long-term investments that will benefit future Lebanese generations long after refugees return to their country of origin”, said UNHCR Representative in Lebanon Mireille Girard.
She continued: “Today is a day of celebration, a celebration of partnership and mutual objectives and belief. Everyone in this room today, believes that education is a fundamental human right, and the only hope for refugee children not to be a lost generation and give them a chance to dream of a brighter future.”
In 2019, UNHCR finalized the expansion of eight public schools and the rehabilitation and refurbishment of five other public schools across Lebanon. The expansion of one additional school in Northern Lebanon as well as the rehabilitation of another school in the Bekaa will be finalized in 2020.
“The issue of education for the world’s refugee children is an urgent one. In Lebanon, still almost half of refugee children, do not go to school. With the help and commitment of Lebanon and the Ministry of Education, we can reduce these numbers, and give refugee children the possibility to dream of a better future so they can rebuild their homes upon their return”, Girard concluded.