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The UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Beirut was established in 1961 and has since, a long-standing partnership with Lebanon and the Arab Region, serving 19 Member States. Today, the Bureau assumes the role of Cluster Office for Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and the Palestinian Territories in the Middle East. UNESCO works to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO’s programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.
An entire generation of students could lose up to USD1 trillion throughout the course of their lives in MENA due to COVID19. A World Bank-UNESCO-UNICEF report lays out the magnitude of the education crisis.
Access to education is a fundamental human right. It is essential to the acquisition of knowledge and to the full development of the human personality. Yet for millions of refugees, education remains an aspiration, not a reality. In 2017, the number of refugees displaced worldwide reached a staggering 25.4 million, with more than half of that number children under the age of 18, including many unaccompanied or separated from their families. At odds with the fundamental and universal status of the right to education, refugee children remain five times more likely to be out of school compared to their non-refugee peers.
UNESCO works with governments and partners to address exclusion from, and inequality in, education. Among marginalized and vulnerable groups, UNESCO pays special attention to children with disabilities as they are overrepresented in the population of those who are not in education. This report focuses on the situation in the arabic region, provides insights on the situation and ways forward for teachers, policy and decision makers (in arabic).
Since the start of the Syria crisis in 2011, millions of Syrian children and young people have sought refuge in neighbouring Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Around 50 per cent do not attend school. Host governments and other stakeholders face a significant challenge in creating systems that recognise both the non-formal learning of Syrian refugees and the learning, qualifications and life experience they acquired in their home country. This joint publication by UNESCO Beirut and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong learning publication stresses the importance of viewing recognition, validation and accreditation (RVA) systems for Syrian refugees as part of comprehensive national strategies of host governments rather than as fragmented and ad hoc projects.