|© UNICEF Lebanon/2006|
|A UNICEF flyer promoting the back-to-school campaign in Lebanon.|
By Val Wang
NEW YORK, USA, 13 October 2006 – Children in southern Lebanon will be headed back to the classroom on Monday, 16 October, as part of the National Back-to-School Campaign initiated by the Ministry of Education with support from UNICEF.
The recent conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, which destroyed about 50 schools in Lebanon and damaged more than 300 others, delayed the start of the school year. Until the schools can be rebuilt or rehabilitated, children will be taught in prefabricated classroom units and in double-shift classes at nearby schools.
UNICEF and its partners are teaming up to accelerate the return of children to school by providing learning materials for more than 1,400 schools and school supplies for over 400,000 students. They are also cleaning and disinfecting schools that previously housed people displaced during the conflict, as well as restoring clean water systems and sanitation to communities.
UNICEF believes that returning children to school is one of the most important ways to help them recover from conflict.
To help ensure children’s emotional recovery, the organization is helping to train counsellors who will, in turn, help teachers provide psychosocial support and mine-risk education to their students.
Unexploded munitions are the single greatest physical threat to children’s well-being near their homes and in fields and other areas where they play. In addition to the mine-risk education programs, UNICEF is supporting child-friendly public awareness campaigns to teach children not to pick up foreign objects.
Middle East crisis
Palestinian students return to school [with video]
News note: Violent spell rivals worst times for Palestinian children
Renewed violence in Gaza [with audio]
Lebanon launches polio campaign [with video]
Post-war, Israeli and Lebanese teens talk [with audio]
In Lebanon, back to school at last [with video]