Providing quality educational opportunities in refugee contexts means that displaced children and youth can benefit from the protection of an accountable social service in which they have the time, opportunity and support to evolve into key actors in their own protection.
Both the Lebanese Government and various organizations are providing education options for refugees in Lebanon. Based on their eligibility, children between 6 and 14 years old can enroll in public schools. For students who have already passed grade 6 they can also resume their academic education or enroll in secondary or technical schools. Other options include Community Based Education, Accelerated Learning Programs and catch up programs. Please contact local education organizations for more information.
Schools in Lebanon start at the end of September and ends in June.
You can enroll your children in school even if the school year has already started, until the end of December. If you arrived in Lebanon after December, please contact the nearest partner organization, for options of possible enrollment of your child in non-formal education programs.
The Ministry of Education of Lebanon will first complete the registration of Lebanese children and then will gradually open registration to non-Lebanese, including Syrian children.
Parent’s association fees should be paid, if you cannot afford the cost of the stationary and the Parent Committee fee, you should ask a partner organization to cover these expenses for you. If you decide to enroll your children in private schools, you will have to cover all expenses.
There are various education options for refugees in Lebanon:
- Public schools are education institutions run by the Ministry of Education and financed by the Lebanese Government. The list of public schools is available with UNHCR /UNICEF partner organizations
- Private schools are education institutions run by independent organizations or individuals. They are certified by the Ministry of Education when they follow a Lebanese or other certified curriculum. Semi-Private schools are partially financed by the Ministry of Education for a very limited number of students.
- Other education programs (called non-formal education programs) are also available depending on your child’s learning needs and to prepare entry to schools. Be aware that these programs are not recognized by the Ministry of Education and do not lead to certification.
Once your child is registered in the 2nd shift (pm shift), he/she cannot register in the 1st shift (am shift) because the first shift is already full.
When your child complete the accelerated learning program you must always be in contact with the humanitarian organization where you get assistance from, in order to know if he/she can go to a public school.
Entrance Exams are done on the first day of the school year after the summer vacation, usually the school puts a notification on the doors with the dates of the tests to be done. If you arrive after this date, contact the school or education organization near you to help arrange an alternative option.
Transportation will not be provided for educational services, parents are responsible to ensure their children’s access to education programs. However, in very exceptional situations, transportation arrangements might be partially covered.
The education programs in Lebanon are mandated to be strongly linked to the Lebanese curriculum. And classes are taught in different languages. Most education programs are taught in Arabic with opportunities to learn French and English according to the Lebanese curriculum.
If your child is working to support the family, he has several options to join an educational program or school including pursuing formal education or accelerated vocational education with flexible schooling hours. Contact your nearest education organization for advice about possible options for your child based on his individual needs and situation.
Education for children physically and intellectually disabled
Under Lebanese law, children with special education needs can be enrolled in some public schools, unless they have a severe mental disability and need specific support.
In case your child faces problems at school, there are different people you can talk to in order to get help: school director, health educator or Parent's Committee. If you are concerned about violence, abuse or discrimination, you should inform your nearest education organization.
Public schools do not provide free food for children. However, in very few education programs, small snacks are provided by the organization facilitating the program, when it demands long hours outside home. Parents should ensure substantial snacks and fresh water on daily basis for children going to school.
Accelerated learning programs don’t have a recognized diploma by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education for the moment. But it doesn’t prevent the child to register in formal education next year. Accelerated learning programs help the child to get in the formal education system.
Also, non-formal education programs in Lebanon are not certified by the Lebanese government. Children enrolled in non-formal education program will receive documentation of their participation and learning achievements to help transition to formal schools where certification is provided.
Education programs are offered free of charge for children 3-18, within available financial resources. Additional financial packages are not offered. However, if you are interested in a possible scholarship for higher education (college, university) please contact a local education organization for guidance.
However, public schools in Lebanon are not for free. You will not have to pay the school registration fees for your children as it will be covered by the Government of Lebanon with the support of the international community.
forumWhat will be required to register my children in a public school?
Please bring the following documents to the school when enrolling:
a. Previous grades transcript for the past two years in the formal public education system
b. Valid ID document
c. Valid UNHCR registration certificate
d. 2 passport size photos
If you don't have all of the documents, you can still enroll your children and the school administration will advise on options.
Some schools may need additional papers (residency paper, vaccination, family booklet, etc.).
forumWhat documents do I need to provide an education organization with for assisting me to enroll my child in education programs outside school?
Please provide the following documents to the partner organization:
a. A valid UNHCR registration certificate (when available)
b. Previous year grades
c. School certificate (include students’ grade, address,
d. Updated vaccination booklet
forumMy child is enrolled in a Syrian School in Lebanon. Can they obtain a valid certificate?
The Government of Lebanon will ONLY recognize or certify education programs from schools that teach the Lebanese curriculum.