There are great disparities in the access to education in Lebanon between the different regions of the country. Although Beirut benefits from high quality public and private schools, most peripheral regions are neglected and the quality of teaching is generally lower. The living standards of people residing in those regions are moreover much lower than in the capital. Scholarship fees can represent 15 to 20% purchasing power for a family. 33% of Lebanese people cannot satisfy the education needs of their children, and the school enrolment rate after the age of 14 does not exceed 70%.
33% of Lebanese people cannot satisfy the education needs of their children
The French association “Action pour la Scolarisation des Enfants au Liban” (ASEL –Action for the Schooling of Children in Lebanon), created in 2007, works to promote access to education in a north-eastern Lebanese region, which is particularly disadvantaged on the economic front: the Békaa region. In this region bordering Syria, nearly all Lebanese communities are living together: Maronite Christians, Greek Catholics, Orthodox believers, Shiite and Sunnite Muslims. It is a rural region with a harsh and semi-desert climate. ASEL programs are aimed at helping the most vulnerable families and sending their children to school. In 2011, the association has allowed the schooling of 80 children in the region, thanks to partnerships with 5 private schools.
Among these 5 educational structures, the Jdeidet El Fekeh school, which already welcomes 530 pupils of all faiths, cannot accommodate any additional pupils because space is lacking to set up new classrooms. A new building is under construction. However, work had to be suspended, due to a shortage of funding.
That is why the Air Liquide Foundation has decided to bring its support to ASEL’s project. This support will allow the completion of indoor works and the setting up of three new classrooms.