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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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Chapter Eight: The State and Policy Support

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CHAPTER EIGHT

The State and Policy Support

Introduction

Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011, Lebanon has been home to 1.5 million Syrian and Palestinian-Syrian refugees, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR, 2014b). This influx of Syrians has put great pressure on the local Lebanese community in terms of the efforts to provide food, health services, education and employment. The overwhelmingly high number of refugees is exacerbating the political and economic pressures that Lebanon is still experiencing due to its own civil war (International Labour Organization, 2014).

This chapter provides insights into the support that the Lebanese state provides as host to the refugees in terms of schooling for refugee children. Moreover, this chapter reflects on the following question: how does the Lebanese state respond to the issue of schooling of children in refugee camps?

The Lebanese government response and challenges

Lebanon’s Ministry of Education has permitted refugee children to enrol in public schools and has organised morning classes and extra afternoon shifts so that these children can get as many opportunities to education as possible. Despite the facilitation of this path for refugee children there are nonetheless significant impediments such as discrimination, transportation, cost of education and cost of living that prevent such an opportunity as being worthwhile in the long-term. A major problem is that the school systems in Syria and Lebanon have very different curriculum...

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