Theirworld has been working in Lebanon to expand access to education through research, advocacy and campaigning, tackling the impact of the conflict in Syria which has left more than one million refugee children out of school.
Through strong networks with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE), United Nations agencies, national and international NGOs and the private sector, Theirworld is ensuring the policies, funding and programmes are in place to allow every child to gain an education and achieve their potential.
What are double-shift schools?
In 2013 Theirworld's A World at School movement proposed a "double-shift" system of schooling - where refugee children are taught in the afternoons and evenings in the same buildings used by local children early in the day. This system was adopted as a central pillar of the Reaching All Children with Education (RACE) national strategy and in 2014-15 the system was successfully piloted with over 100,000 refugee children.
In April 2015 A World at School published a second report that looked at the lessons learned and identified areas for further investment. The Minister of Education then committed 200,000 school places for refugee children in the 2015-16 school year.
Pilot projects in Lebanon
Theirworld is investing in low-cost pilot projects to complement the RACE strategy in Lebanon. These pilot projects will demonstrate how small-scale investment in key areas can significantly improve access to education and learning outcomes for vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian refugee children.
Technology in classrooms
The overall quality of education, combined with tensions between refugee and host communities, is contributing to poor retention of school students. Dropout rates among Syrians are as high as 70% and many Lebanese families are taking on debts to send their children to private schools. Technology can be introduced that addresses educational outcomes and intercultural relations in classrooms. By training teachers on its use, the quality of learning and community relations can be improved and dropout rates lowered.
Nutrition in schools
A high number of refugee families and many Lebanese families do not have regular access to nutritious food. This often leads to children being removed from school to go out to work. Many children arrive at school having had nothing to eat. By providing a nutritious snack in schools, children will be healthier and better able to concentrate and learn.
Language of instruction
There are significant differences in the way the Lebanese and Syrian curriculums are taught which hinder Syrian children’s ability to learn in class. The Lebanese curriculum integrates French and English in the teaching of maths and sciences, while in Syria the language of instruction is solely Arabic. By offering extra support in language learning, children will not fall behind others in the class and are less likely to struggle and drop out of school.
None of this work would be possible without the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery who are helping ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn and achieve their potential.