Since 2016, the British Council has been working in partnership with UNICEF Lebanon, supporting the Lebanese government to improve the enrolment of vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian refugee children in formal education and increase the likelihood of them staying in the education system for longer.
Owing to our previous work with the Ministry of Education on a teacher training and foreign language support programme for Lebanese schools, the British Council was viewed as a trusted and credible partner to support this particular project.
Lebanon is a linguistically rich country and has a trilingual education system in place. This means that, from a very early age, all subjects are taught in English or French, as well as Arabic.
This can pose challenges for many Lebanese and Syrian students. For example, due to the crisis, Syrian children have mainly been taught exclusively in Arabic meaning they can struggle to keep up with their homework in a foreign language. So, gradually these vulnerable student groups are increasingly dropping-out of education.
In order to mitigate this, the British Council and local Arabic-language partner Ana Agra were selected by UNICEF and the Ministry of Education in Lebanon to work together to create a standardised model that helps NGOs deliver a 96-hour retention support programme.
The programme is designed to tackle the issues at hand and respond to some of the factors driving school drop-outs. Designed to help students develop strategies and skills that will help them do their homework, it is made up of two principal components.
The first part is delivered in Arabic and focuses on classroom management, developing a safe learning environment, and creating higher thinking strategies and guided reading plans to meet individual learner’s needs.
The second part looks at attitude and language aptitude and provides communication tools to help teachers promote diversity and social cohesion within the classroom, as well as motivate students to learn a new language. It also includes strategies for teachers and students to teach and learn English and French, with the ultimate goal being that students will be able to do their homework autonomously.