Syrian refugees in Lebanon struggle for education


Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. File photo

ARA News

Beirut, Lebanon – Syrian refugees suffer many problems in Lebanon, starting  with the lack of accommodation, work and opportunities to educate their children.

Some Lebanese schools do not accept the applications of Syrian students either completely or in some stages.

On the other hand, schools established for Syrians cannot accommodate the huge numbers of school age Syrians.

According to the UNHCR, the need for education increases due to the long-term crisis where Syrians are unable to return to their country; hence, the necessity to continue schooling increased, especially after the number exceeded 400 thousand students in the different stages.

Schooling Fees

With the high fees of the Lebanese schools, especially the private ones, Syrians who barely find job cannot send their children to receive education even for low expenses, which may lead to a complete illiterate generations.

Oum Zahra, a Syrian refugee based in Saida city in western Lebanon, told ARA News: “My husband does not have a permanent job; we barely fulfill our basic needs.”

“I have two primary stage daughters study at a private school. We pay 400 dollars annually as schooling expenses including fees, transportation and stationary,” she said. “We are living a real nightmare. If the situation continues like this without assistance, most of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon will grow up uneducated.”

Speaking to ARA News, Bahia Nasser, Syrian refugee who resorted to Lebanon with her son, said: “I have a 16-year-old son who used to work to help us. However, he needed to continue his education after two years of interruption.”

Nasser expressed her fears about her son’s future under their deteriorating living conditions.

Syrian Schools’ Projects

Syrian teachers in Lebanon realize the importance of solving the education crisis for Syrian refugees. However, they do not blame the Lebanese educational institutions for deficiency.

Syrian teachers believe that the solution for the current educational situation is simple based on some statistics.

“We have a lot of Syrian university graduates in Lebanon whose expertise could be used to teach the 400 thousand school age children,” said Umran Khalil, a Syrian teacher based in Beirut.

“We need the help of the Lebanese government in providing temporary venues in different areas of Lebanon in order to establish Syrian schools recognized by the competent authorities,” Khalil told ARA News. “Such a step would help Syrian graduates to have job opportunities and refugee students to continue their education.”

UNHCR announced in April 2014 that the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon exceeded one million, including 400 thousand school age children, which is more than the number of Lebanese children in public schools.


Reporting by: Hussam al-Zeer

Source: ARA News

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