Under the patronage of UNESCO Beirut, the Al Mabarrat Charitable Organization organized, on 25 April 2017, the closing ceremony of the Global Action Week for Education (GAWE), an international annual campaign led by the Global Campaign for Education with support from UNESCO to raise awareness of the importance of education to achieve sustainable development and the commitments made by all to reach the global education goal by 2030.
Seventeen public and private schools have participated this year in Al Mabarrat’s celebration of the Global Education Week. Through a series of extracurricular activities and workshops, teachers and trainers from Al Mabarrat’s network raised students’ awareness about the centrality of education to guarantee sustainable development and the necessity to offer access to education for all children, youth and adults. A special effort was made to raise students’ awareness about the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 4 - Education 2030 aimed at “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all”. Students celebrated GAW by producing art works, paintings, sculptures, songs, and stories revolving around the theme of Education for All.
The closing ceremony started with a speech by the director of UNESCO Beirut, Dr Hamed Al Hamami, who praised Al Mabarrat Charitable Organization’s efforts to promote SDGs and to raise awareness on the right to education and the necessity to provide access to quality education for all. Al Hamami emphasized UNESCO’s role in “promoting inclusive and equitable quality education based on the belief that education is a basic human right and a tool to create peace, guarantee self-development, and ensure sustainable development”. Al Hamami also stressed the negative impact of regional crises on the quality of education in the Arab world. In particular, he highlighted the challenges Lebanon is facing in terms of expanding the schools’ absorption capacities with the massive inflow of children and youth refugees, and praised the efforts of the Lebanese Ministry of Education to provide vulnerable children and youth with education opportunities.
Representatives of the Ministry of Education, Ms Aline Lteif and Ms Lynn Hamasni, offered a presentation on the education sector in Lebanon, its current status, challenges, and future perspectives.
This was followed by a short interactive play/sketch where students raised awareness on several issues facing the education sector in Lebanon, including: the difference between the quality of education in public and in private schools; the importance of offering lifelong education for adults; the necessity to provide special education for children with disabilities and learning difficulties.
UNESCO Beirut director and staff visited the exhibition of students’ works and discussed with students and their teachers the role of UNESCO in promoting education for all.