Theirworld has been working in Lebanon to expand access to education through research, projects 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 including 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.
In 2013, more than 500,000 school-aged refugee children were living in Lebanon and very few were in school. Theirworld funded a team of experts to work with the government, international agencies and NGOs to develop a solution. The proposal was a “double-shift school” system in Lebanon for Syrian refugees. Theirworld convened a meeting at the United Nations General Assembly with the UN Special Envoy and donor agencies to present the plan, and embarked on a campaign to raise the funding and political will to make it a reality.
Today, the proposal has resulted as a central pillar of the Reaching All Children with Education (RACE) national strategy. Theirworld’s campaigning has contributed to more than 300,000 refugee and vulnerable children receiving an education in Lebanon. Theirworld continues to support today by providing key personnel to support the delivery of the double-shift schools through the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
This experience led Theirworld to convene a coalition of civil society organisations to campaign for a global fund for education in emergencies. It also resulted in the Education Cannot Wait fund which to date has reached more than 1.3 million children in emergencies.
Theirworld is investing in additional 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 and lead to scalable solutions.
Inclusive Early Childhood Education
Theirworld is piloting an innovative approach to inclusive early childhood education for refugees, across five schools in Lebanon.
To ensure that all learners have the best start in life and are prepared to succeed in school, we are supporting teachers in our pilot schools to identify and include learners who potentially have special educational needs (SEN) in preparatory early childhood education classes (Prep-ECE). Prep- ECE classes prepare refugee learners to enter and succeed in primary school. With support and coordination from the Lebanese Ministry of Education’s RACE Program Management Unit and The Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD), we are working with our partners SKILD Centre and a research team led by Dr Bassel Akar, Director at CARE Center at Notre Dame University - Louaize, to:
Develop a framework for assessing and supporting learners with SEN in Prep-ECE classes
Deliver capacity building workshops and support for over 40 teachers in Prep-ECE classes, which will enable them to implement inclusive teaching methods, identify signs of SEN and provide adequate support for all students
Identify and/or provide sustainable pathways for learners identified as having SEN, beyond their PREP-ECE classes, and assess the impact of this on learners
As a result of this pilot project, we are hoping to expand the initiative beyond the five schools after the 2019/20 academic year - in order to reach more children across Lebanon.
Technology in Classrooms & Code Clubs
The overall quality of education, combined with tensions between refugee and host communities, contributes to poor retention of school students. Theirworld pilot projects have introduced technology hubs to support educational outcomes and intercultural relations in classrooms. We provided digital skills training to 35 public school teaching staff in Lebanon and built the capacity of four technology partners to deliver on digital education.
Theirworld started working with the United Lebanon Youth Project (ULYP) to support girls from vulnerable refugee (Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian) populations. The first pilot initially targeted 45 girls but due to its success, has expanded and continues to enrol additional cohorts. It aims to to equip young girls from marginalised communities with general skills and coding that they can take with them into the workforce.
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. Theirworld provided 4,000 Lebanese and Syrian children with a daily portion of healthy food and a daily portion of milk at school as well as 40 teachers with learning tools on the positive impacts of healthy food to educate themselves and their students. You can read the impact report here.
Theirworld's work in Lebanon is made possible with the support of the People's Postcode Lottery who are helping to ensure that every child has a safe school to learn in and the opportunity to reach their potential.
Promoting improved education and nutrition outcomes for disadvantaged Lebanese and Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon
Theirworld’s work in Lebanon is made possible with the support of the People’s Postcode Lottery who are helping ensure that every child has a safe school and the opportunity to reach their potential.