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Schooling and Education in Lebanon

Syrian and Syrian Palestinian Refugees Inside and Outside the Camps

Nina Maadad and Grant Rodwell

This book provides insights into the education and schooling of Syrian and Palestinian Syrian children inside and outside Lebanese refugee camps. It describes what is happening to these children and young refugees in terms of their schooling. Investigating the perspectives of children, their parents, teachers, community leaders, and state politicians and bureaucrats on the schooling provisions and educational opportunities for refugee children in Lebanon, this book reveals the condition of social disadvantage that Syrian and Syrian Palestinian refugee children and their families are experiencing in Lebanon. Maadad and Rodwell propose the idea of the pedagogy of the displaced that recognises socio-economic disadvantage and refocuses the nature of the learner and their learning and the philosophy of teaching. A collaborative action of society – the refugee families, the schools, the communities, the host state, the international aid agencies and the rest of the world – in addressing the barriers to education and schooling of the refugee children must break ground and be sustained.

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The Syrian civil war crisis, which has now been going on for over four years, has led to an extraordinarily huge number of refugees scattered throughout the Middle East. More than one million Syrian refugees with the majority being women and children, have arrived in Lebanon since 2011, seeking refuge from a bloody civil war that has taken over their home country. This large number of refugees trying to settle in a small place with a population of only four million people has impacted significantly on the country’s economy and social cohesion. Lebanon itself had just been trying to recover from a few decades of civil war and the country’s infrastructure is fragile.

Lebanon’s public services are under pressure from having to help a large number of people, both locals and refugees. Similarly, education is suffering and schools lack the space and the ability to cater for all the Lebanese students as well as the refugees. As indicated by UNHCR (2014c), the number of refugee school children aged between 6 and 14 in Lebanon is 420,000. All of the children require education and have the right to it, but where schools can fit them all and how can they cater to all of their needs, will remain a challenge for the authorities. There are many problems that Nina discussed in previous chapters preventing access to education; they range from lack of space, financial limitations, transportation, language barriers and the curriculum, shortage of trained teachers and...

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