‘Thank you Lebanon: We Believe in you’, with these words written on the blackboard of the Uruguay Public School, British Ambassador to Lebanon announced over 50m USD, the largest ever UK funding to education for Lebanon.
Joined by the Education Minister Elias Bou Saab, Uruguay school principle Mrs. Rohana, Head of the Beirut educational District, Mohamed el Jamal, and teachers, Ambassador Fletcher was briefed on the challenges facing public schools who are coping with the massive refugee influx and the overwhelming demand for education from both Lebanese and Syrian students.
Speaking in a classroom with Grade 8 students, British Ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher said:
‘In schools as on the borders and checkpoints, the UK stands beside Lebanon with actions not words. No child should miss out on their education. Yet a growing number risk becoming a lost generation, vulnerable to radicalisation and manipulation. We want to make it a fairer fight: we are arming Lebanon’s youth with knowledge. We have pledged more than$50m in support of Lebanon’s education sector, the largest ever UK project with the Lebanese state.
We are working with the Education Ministry to get every child into school. For the second year, the UK is funding school textbooks to every pupil aged 6-15, over 300,000 kids. We are also very pleased that the Uruguay public school which hosts more than 1000 students will start introducing English language lessons with thanks to minister Bou Saab.
People talk about countering ISIL extremism with boots on the ground. We’re doing it with books in the hand.’
In return, the Minister of Education thanked the British Government for standing by Lebanon and for their continued support to education in Lebanon.
The education funding for Lebanon includes new support for the Lebanese Government’s ‘Reaching All Children with Education - RACE’ scheme to expand the public education system, by providing $30m for a new programme designed in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the World Bank. This programme will benefit Lebanese students and the Lebanese education system as a whole. There will also be a contribution to NGOs supporting non-formal education for refugees in Lebanon who are not able to attend school.
Notes to editors
No Lost Generation Initiative for Lebanon announced at UNGA in late September include:
- new support for the Lebanese Government’s ‘Reaching All Children with Education’ scheme to expand the public education system (£20 million);
- outreach education for refugees in Lebanon who are not able to attend school (£11 million);
- The UK’s total response to the Syria crisis is over £700m.