In the past years, Lebanon has accrued approximately 1.5 million Syrian refugees, aside from the large population of Palestinian refugees already present. While the country has provided a hospitable environment for those restarting their lives, there are many issues with access to food, shelter and education for refugees in Lebanon.
Recently, Lebanon has created an education system called “double-shift” schools located primarily in Beirut. The double-shift model has two shifts of students attending class each day, allowing Lebanese schools to reach beyond the already-enrolled students. The new afternoon shift gives Syrian refugees, who are not yet at the same education level as their Lebanese peers, an opportunity to receive quality education.
Education has been made free for both Lebanese and Syrian students to eliminate any discrimination against refugee students. Lebanon is able to thank international aid for allowing them the ability to provide education to all students. These international donors have paid up to $600 for each student to attend a double-shift school.
Some schools are able to accommodate up to 700 refugee students in the afternoons. Among the 259 schools offering double-shift education, there are now 85,000 children enrolled.
The increase in provided education for refugees in Lebanon also increases the access to food that many children are often without. The UN World Food Program has begun providing food access in schools for up to 10,000 children. The refugee children are provided with a snack, fruit and a box of either milk or juice when attending class. With access to regular meals and education, refugee students are able to pursue many of the same opportunities as their peers.
Though Syrian refugees have been unable to pursue sufficient education after being displaced, efforts are being taken to improve these issues largely through international aid. Providing basics such as food and education for refugees improves the ability to live normal lives for many of the children.
– Amanda Panella