The project ‘Towards early childhood education by 2030 for all children in Lebanon’ explored how Lebanon can promote equitable access to early childhood education for 3- to 5-year-olds and for Syrian child refugees.
Since 2011 Lebanon has been hosting approximately 1.5 million refugees from the Syrian conflict, about half of whom are children. It has the world’s highest concentration of refugees per capita. Lebanon aims to integrate these refugees, including Syrian refugees, into its public schools. Currently 50 % of pupils there are Syrian refugees.
The Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education’s 2015 and 2016 Reaching All Children with Education (RACE I and II) plans offer all children aged 3 to 18 free education. Yet few Syrian child refugees aged 3 to 5, or their poorer Lebanese peers, do access quality early childhood education.
The research team intended to learn about improving access to early childhood education from the perspectives of policymakers, NGOs, early childhood teachers and parents of young children.
The team also planned to develop ideas to support Lebanon in achieving United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 4.2. This Goal concerns education and its target 4.2 aims to ensure that, by 2030, all girls and boys have access to good quality early childhood development, care, and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.
Long term, the team hopes that the findings and benefits of this study may not only promote the status of early childhood education in Lebanon, but ultimately extend across the Middle East and reach other child refugee hosting countries.
This project was funded by the British Academy’s Early Childhood Education Programme. This programme is supported under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). The GCRF supports excellent research with development impact and is part of the UK’s official development assistance (ODA).