The Effect of Segregated Verses Integrated Schooling on Teaching and Learning of Syrian Refugee Children and Lebanese Students in Public Lebanese Schools.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 09:45
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Maha SHUAYB, Centre for Lebanese Studies, Lebanon
The Syrian crisis resulted in the influx of over a million refugees to Lebanon, almost half of them are school age children. This has put a huge burden on the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) who attends to 200 000 students only. The majority of the refugees have settled in vulnerable communities that suffer from poverty and are already characterized with low educational outcomes. To accommodate the large number of students, MEHE initially opened its schools to Syrian refugees where the latter were learning alongside their Lebanese peers. However, as the number of Syrian refugees increased, concerns about the effect of integration on the quality of learning of Lebanese students started to rise. As the crisis dragged on for more years, the need to absorb more students lead MEHE to focus its effort on afternoon shifts designed specifically for Syrian refugees. As a result, the majority of Syrian children currently learn in segregated afternoon schools where they do not meet their Lebanese peers. Only a small number of Syrian children learn with Lebanese children in the morning shift. In the afternoon shift, students receive 4 hours of schooling every day compared to 7 hours offered in the morning shift. The majority of teachers of the second shift are public Lebanese school teachers’ who teach in the morning shift and are compensated by international donors. The impact of integration verses segregation on students’ learning as well as their social wellbeing remains unexplored. This study examines the experience of Syrian children in the morning shift with those learning in the afternoon shift. It also investigates the impact of integration on Lebanese children. Interviews with Syrian and Lebanese students as well as parents, teachers and administration are carried out.