Beirut, 3rd September 2019 – The ministry of Agriculture announced today in partnership with UNICEF the launch of the rehabilitation work of its seven technical and vocational agriculture schools. Funded by the Dutch government, the main objective of the rehabilitation is to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for the students enrolled in these seven schools as part of the development of the agriculture technical and vocational education system in Lebanon.
The launching ceremony was led by the minister of Agriculture Dr. Hassan Lakis and in presence of Dutch Ambassador HE. Mr. Jan Waltmans, Violet Speek-Warnery, UNICEF Deputy Representative, Maurice Saade, FAO representative, principles and professors from the Ministry of Agriculture, and representative from NGOs, and municipalities.
In his speech, the Minister of Agriculture stressed on the importance of supporting and activating agricultural education, and the development of agricultural technical schools saying that: “ the agricultural education is the cornerstone in the formation of technical frameworks for the development of the agricultural sector, through improving the educational, performance and preparedness level of graduate students, which requires the continuous review of educational institutions, to consolidate the policies and strategies of the ministry, aiming to develop this sector, and meet the labor market need skilled manpower”
The Dutch Ambassador, Mr. Jan Waltmans said: “The Netherlands supports economic development in Lebanon in different ways. In agriculture, and with our support Lebanon now exports potatoes to the EU. Through the Agrytech programme, we promote young bright Lebanese to come up with innovative solutions for the agricultural and food processing sector and establish start-up companies. We are building on the National TVET strategy to improve the quality of technical education. The mismatch between skills acquired through education and the skills required at the labor market needs to be bridged. These initiatives and programmes would yield better results if the private sector of Lebanon would play a more proactive role by providing internships and jobs to students”.
“The rehabilitated schools with enhanced construction and safety standards will provide more appropriate teaching and learning environments to the students, including safer infrastructure, adequate equipment and learning materials”, said Violet Speek-Warnery, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Lebanon.
In his turn, FAO Representative in Lebanon, Dr. Maurice Saadeh, talked about the project saying: “This activity comes within the framework of the “Upgrading the technical agriculture education system in Lebanon” project, implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with funding from the Dutch government and in cooperation with key partners such as UNICEF and ILO. It aims to provide high-quality agricultural technical training for young men and women in Lebanon and to meet the current needs of the labor market »
Seven agriculture TVET schools will benefit from the funds from the Netherland Government to ensure a better learning environment for more than 2,000 adolescents and youth across all the education and training programmes in the schools. The grant will also allow UNICEF, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, to improve standards of hygiene, health and safety in these schools while implementing accessibility standards for adolescent and youth with special needs, where applicable.
The seven agriculture schools that will be rehabilitated are: Khiyam Agricultural School, Al-Nabatiyeh Agricultural School, Baakleen Agricultural School, Rizk Agricultural School, Al-Batroun Agricultural School and Al-Abdeh Agricultural School.
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