The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

Search This Blog

October 31, 2011

Daily Star - Schools enrolling more displaced Syrian students, October 31, 2011

HERMEL, Lebanon: Public and private schools in the Bekaa and North Lebanon are seeing a jump this academic year in the enrollment of Syrian students, many of whom were forced to leave their hometowns near the Syrian-Lebanese border following months of clashes between the Syrian army and civilians in the area.
The principal of Arsal Public Intermediary School, Mohammad Rayed, said that all seven schools in the village have enrolled displaced Syrian students who left the Syrian villages of Deir Atieh and Flita, located several kilometers from Arsal.
According to Rayed, a number of Syrian workers in Arsal also sent for their families who reside in the Syrian cities of Homs, Hama, and Daraa and enrolled them in the village schools.
Parents who wish to enroll their children must have a document issued by the Lebanese General Security that shows proof of their legal entry into the country, Rayed stressed, adding that the registration fees are being paid by some benefactors if parents cannot afford them.
“The average number of Syrian students per school ranges between 20 and 30 students,” Rayed said. “School principals in the village enroll students at their schools according to an official [Syrian] document attesting to the student’s level of education.”
If parents don’t have possession of the documents, students are required to sit for an entrance exam to determine their appropriate grade, Rayed said.
In response to the influx of displaced Syrian students, Education Minister Hassan Diab issued a circular to all Lebanese schools earlier this month, giving them permission to enroll Syrian students and allowing them to take into consideration their parents’ difficulty in submitting required documents.
The circular also requested that school administrations provide the ministry with the names of displaced students and expressed the need to provide the best conditions for them.
Many Lebanese families who live in Syrian border villages and were forced to return to Lebanon have also enrolled their children in schools in the Baalbek, Hermel, and Akkar regions.
According to Rayed, one problem facing Syrian students who are attending Lebanese schools is the difference in the two countries’ curriculum, especially the language of instruction.
“In Lebanese schools, students must learn either English or French language while learning a foreign language remains optional in Syria, and this creates a problem, especially for students who are in higher grades,” Rayed said, adding that science is taught in either French or English in Lebanese schools while Arabic is used in Syrian schools.
For his part, the principal of Hermel Intermediary School, Hadi Assi, said that 25 Lebanese students who reside in the border village of al-Qaser, north of Hermel, have enrolled at his school.
Like Arsal, all of Hermel’s public and private schools have admitted Syrian students at all academic levels, from kindergarten to high school, Assi said, adding that there are between 700 to 800 Syrian students registered in Bekaa schools.
The Akkar town of Wadi Khaled has witnessed the largest number of displaced Syrians, many of whom are housed in three centers that provide shelter for 150 to 200 displaced persons, said Mustafa Halloum, a Syrian lawyer from the Syrian town of Talkalakh who is currently living in one the centers.
Most of the children of the displaced families living in these centers are not registered in any of the area’s schools because there are too many children and they don’t have the help they need to enroll them, Halloum said.
“The children in our center are not registered in schools mainly because parents cannot afford to pay tuition fees and due to the lack of transportation, as the center is far from the nearest school,” he said, citing the children’s difficulty integrating as another issue that prevents them from enrolling.
“There are more than 50 students at the center who are not registered in schools and we haven’t received any assistance so far in order to enroll them,” Halloum said.
He argued that an even bigger issue is that many displaced Syrians in Lebanon are not recognized as refugees and thus cannot receive assistance by the UNHCR or civil society organizations in the country.

No comments:

Post a Comment