November 1, 2015

Lebanon is now home to more than one million refugees from Syria, which puts pressure on a public education system already challenged by shortages of qualified teachers and aging infrastructure. In an effort to help the country’s schools address these issues, World Learning is working with the Lebanese government to close the quality gap between private and public education while managing the influx of Syrian students through phase two of the Developing Rehabilitation Assistance to Schools and Teacher Improvement Program (D-RASATI 2).

“World Learning believes education is the driving force behind positive, sustainable development,” said Carol Jenkins, World Learning executive vice president for global development. “We’re proud to be part of a program that will help ensure the quality of public education in Lebanon to provide all of the country’s children with a strong foundation for success.”

The program targets schools and communities hosting a high number of Syrian refugees and will provide trainings for school staff to improve support for the Syrian students, reduce tensions between students, and help alleviate the strain on the public school system. World Learning is implementing the $29 million initiative with partner organizations AMIDEAST and the American University of Beirut, and service providers American Lebanese Language Center and Digital Opportunity Trust.

Dr. Wafa Kotob, World Learning’s chief of party in Lebanon, said the project is in the process of fundamentally reforming Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) throughout the public school system, which will benefit more than 60,000 Lebanese and Syrian students.

“Education is the driving force behind positive, sustainable development.” — Carol Jenkins

“World Learning has helped the Lebanese government substantially improve English language teaching methods by building a network of TESOL master trainers,” Kotob said. “These new instructors have already provided trainings to hundreds of educators.”

In addition, the project recently outfitted 126 public schools across Lebanon with computer equipment to advance the use of technology in the classroom. It also provided training to more than 700 teachers on how to effectively incorporate the technology to support English, Arabic, and science education.

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon David Hale attended a ceremony celebrating the achievement and said educational endeavors like this are a crucial part of the United States government’s commitment to help students “have access to the high-quality education that they deserve and that they need to be active members of their communities, and contribute to peace and prosperity.”