Q&A for the ‘Back to School’ Programme 2016/2017
Click here for the list of primary public schools in Arabic.
Click here for the list of secondary public schools in Arabic.
1. Can I enroll my children in Lebanese public schools?
For Lebanese children entering school (Morning/First Shift):
Enrollment for Grades 1 to 12 is currently taking place beginning of September 2016
The classes for Grades 1 to 6 will start on 26 September and grades 7 to 12 classes will start on 20 September.
Kindergarten classes will start on 28 September 2016.
For non-Lebanese children entering school (Morning/First Shift):
Enrollment for Grades 1 to 12 starts on 14 September 2016,
Grades 1 to 6 classes will start on 26 September and grades 7 to 12 classes will start on 20 September.
If the public school cannot accommodate children because it has no more space capacity, go as soon as possible to a nearby afternoon/second shift school so that the child is recorded on a waiting list (see list of public schools that offer afternoon/second shift enrollment).
If there are children who have passed Grade 9, they can be enrolled at Lebanese public secondary schools (see list of public secondary schools). Access to vocational education is also possible after Grade 7 (see question 13).
For non-Lebanese children entering school grades 1 to 9 (afternoon/second Shift):
Enrollment is open between 14 September until 10 October 2016,
Grades 1 to 9 classes for the afternoon shift will start on 10 October 2016
See list of public schools that offer afternoon/second shift.
See list of kindergarten schools for the enrollment of children aged 3 to 5 years.
in public schools for kindergarten (for children aged 3 to 5 years), is
still open (including a limited number of spaces for non-Lebanese
children). Please ask at your nearest public school for information.
Kindergarten will take place in second shift schools on 17 October for kids aged 5 and early 6 who have never been to school.
If you have any issue during enrollment, please contact the nearest humanitarian organization in your area (see below hotlines list).
2. What documents do I need to enroll my children at a Lebanese public school?
To enroll Lebanese or non-Lebanese children in a public school, you should bring all the following documents:
-ID documents of each child;
-2 passport size photos of each child;
-Vaccination card and the health certificate of each child;
-Certificate or transcript for the past two years, especially when enrolling in Grades 9 and 12, if available bring transcripts when enrolled in any of the previous grades, but when not available placement test will be provided by the public school.
If you do not have all of these documents, you can still enroll your children. Ask the school administration for advice on alternate documentation options as per MEHE’s instructions.
3. What about Syrian children who were not in school the previous year?
New Syrian students will undergo an entrance exam at the school where they want to enroll, for their placement in the appropriate grade. You can call the humanitarian organization in your area of residence for more information (see below list).
4. Do I have to pay to enroll children in Lebanese public schools?
No. Public education in Lebanon is free of charge (Basic and Secondary). Parents do NOT have to pay schools for enrolling their children because this is covered by the Government of Lebanon with the support of the international community. Please note that financial assistance provided by UN agencies cover only enrollment (i.e., Parents’ contribution into school fund and parents’ council fund) in Lebanese public schools (see Questions 8 and 9) and is provided directly to the Ministry of Education.
5. Will transport costs be covered to send children to school?
No, parents are responsible to ensure that their children regularly attend the education programs. Paying for transportation is not part of the education services provided by public schools.
6. If a child was enrolled in the morning/first shift in a Lebanese public school last year, will they be automatically re-enrolled this year?
Yes. If a child was enrolled in a morning/first shift school last year, he/she will be enrolled in a morning/first shift school again this year. If there is no more space in that school this year, the child will be allowed to enroll in an afternoon/second shift school.
7. If a child was enrolled in an afternoon/second shift school during the 2015/2016 school year; will they have a place in a morning/first shift school with the Lebanese students this year?
No. If a child has been previously enrolled in an afternoon/second shift school, he/she cannot enroll in a morning/first shift school.
8. Will students enrolled in an afternoon/second shift school get an official/recognized certificate from the Ministry of Education in Lebanon at the end of the year, like students in a morning/first shift school?
Yes. The afternoon/second shift provides the same formal education as the morning/first shift. Students from grades 1 to 9 who succeed will receive an official/recognized certification from the Lebanese Ministry of Education. Students in grades 9 and 12 will be able to sit for official exams.
9. How do I identify a Lebanese public school?
Lebanese public schools are educational institutions officially run by the Ministry of Education and financed by the Lebanese Government. Every public school in Lebanon has an official school name, an official enrollment number (CERD number), and will have “Rasmiya” mentioned in the school title.
Always ask the school director to provide you with documents mentioning the official school name, the CERD number and the school contact. The school entrance sign should always have the Lebanese flag and the “Rasmiya” mention in the school title.
lists (1st and 2nd shift) are available at the UNHCR Reception Centers,
education partner’s centers, Community Development Centers, PHC centers,
Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA) Social Development Centers and with
all the outreach volunteers, as well as online at www.refugees-lebanon.org and Ministry of Education website: www.mehe.gov.lb (see also list of 2nd shift schools)
Teachers in public schools are certified Lebanese teachers.
10. Are there other kinds of schools or education programs?
There are several education programs in Lebanon:
-Private schools are education institutions run by independent organizations or individuals. They are certified by the Ministry of Education when they follow the Lebanese certified curriculum as long as they are registered and licensed with MEHE. There are also some semi-private schools that are partially financed by the Ministry of Education for a limited number of Lebanese students.
-The Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) is currently the only non-formal education programme offered and managed by the Ministry of Education. Completion of this ALP certification will lead to enrollment in public schools (see
-Other education programs (called non-formal education programmes) are also available depending on the child’s learning needs. These programs are offered by Education NGOs and do not lead to a recognized certificate. MEHE with the support of the UN is putting in place a non-formal education framework that will allow NGOs to implement recognized and certified Non Formal Education programmes. The framework is expected to be up and running in 2016-2017.
Any other programs especially those adopting curricula other than the Lebanese are not recognized by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. You are strongly not encouraged to enroll your children in these programs.
11. My child is having a difficulty following the Lebanese curriculum in Public Schools, what type of support is available to help retain my child in school?
Homework support is provided to some students already enrolled and regularly attending formal education in public schools, but at risk of dropping out. Homework support is provided on punctual basis in different settings, where the students bring their school books and get support allowing them to succeed the school year. These programs are sometimes conducted on MEHE premises for students who are enrolled in public schools and in need of such support.
Foreign language support is also available in community venues within the communities (for details ask the organizations in the area).
12. Is there a way to report problems that a family could face in a public school?
Yes. To report any misbehavior, fraud, discrimination, violence or abuse in a public school, please call the hotline number for your area. For cases of violence against children outside the public schools, please report to the humanitarian agencies (see below hotlines list).
All humanitarian agencies’ services and activities are free of charge. If anyone asks you for money or favors in return please contact any of the organizations mentioned at the end of this document immediately.
13. What if a child has been out of school for many years, or has never been to school before?
For children aged 7 to 17 who have been out of school for more than two years an Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) has been developed by the Ministry of Education that will help them catch up with the Lebanese educational system.
The ALP is based on the Lebanese curriculum and provides subjects required by the official Lebanese curriculum such as Arabic, French or English, Mathematics, life science, chemistry and physics (for cycle 3), in addition to life skills and psycho-social support modules.
The ALP has 9 levels corresponding to the 9 grades within the Lebanese basic education system (grades 1 to 9). The child is required to complete a minimum of 80 days per level, 5 hours a day, during a four months period.
The list of schools that offer ALP is available with UNHCR and UNICEF, as well as in Community and Social Development Centers, and online at www.refugees-lebanon.org and on the Ministry of Education website: http://Race.mehe.gov.lb. You can also call any of the organizations listed below.
At the end of the programme period children and/ or youth have the possibility to access formal schooling in Lebanon. In terms of learning outcomes, children undertake an assessment at the beginning and at the end of the programme to ensure they are well equipped for reintegration into the formal education system the following years.
For children who have never been to school and who lack the most basic learning skills, the ministry is developing a basic literacy and numeracy programme BLN that supports entry into ALP, or formal public education. Young children age 5 and 6 can participate in preparatory Early Childhood Education classes in the second shift schools. More information will be provided on this programme when available.
14. My child has special needs. Can she/he still enroll in public school?
If the child has learning difficulties she/he can still enroll. If the child has more severe disabilities please consult the hotlines below below who can refer to a specialized program.
15. Are Syrian learning centers recognized in Lebanon?
The Ministry of Education in Lebanon does not recognize the Syrian curriculum and does not accredit Syrian learning centers on the Lebanese territory. UN agencies do NOT support Syrian learning centers in Lebanon.
16. What about school enrollment for Palestine refugees in Lebanon?
UNRWA provides education services (Grades 1 to 12) to Palestine refugees living in Lebanon, including Palestine refugees coming from Syria. UNRWA provides education free of charge, in addition to textbooks and back to school kits. There are 68 UNRWA-supported schools in Lebanon that will begin the scholastic year 2016-2017 on the 1st September 2016.
For Palestinian youth only, UNRWA provides limited spaces in technical vocational education training centers. For further info contact UNRWA on 01840490.
17. My child would like to move from the academic to the vocational and technical system (Grade 7 and above). Is this an option?
Yes. Students between 13 and 24 years old, who have completed Grade 7, can enroll in public vocational and technical schools where vocational classes are available and certified by the Government of Lebanon. You can approach any of the vocational and technical schools or one of the humanitarian organizations listed below to enroll. UN and partners can support by paying to MEHE directly the tuition fees on behalf of Lebanese and non-Lebanese students.
18. When and how can the youth enroll into the public vocational and technical schools enrollment?
For both Lebanese and non-Lebanese adolescents entering public vocational and technical schools:
-Enrollment for BP (Brevet Professionnel) to LT (License Technique) is taking place starting in September 2016, exact date to be confirmed by MEHE
For the registration of Lebanese students into the MEHE Vocational and Technical schools, the criteria of selection of the Lebanese students who will be covered by the UN registration coverage are as follows:
-Not benefiting of a scholarship or grant from any other source/donor/programmme
-Submission of a school certification from responsible guardian/ caregiver that reflects the family income and is certified by the Mukhtar;
-Submission of a salary or remuneration certificate signed by the party that employs the caregiver/ responsible guardian
For the registration of non-Lebanese students into the MEHE Vocational and Technical schools, the documents required are as follows:
-Student’s identity card
-Two passport pictures of the student
-A school statement of the past two years or a copy of it.
In the case where the above required documents cannot be provided upon registration, the student can nevertheless register and enquire at the school administration about available options to provide alternative documentation; as long as the required documents can be submitted prior to the date of the official exams. It is worth noting that the submission of a residency card/ permit is not a requirement for the registration of non-Lebanese students into the technical public schools.
19. Can I enroll or resume my education in universities in Lebanon? What documents do I need to access universities in Lebanon?
Yes. All refugees in Lebanon, who have completed their grade 12 in Lebanon or in their country of origin, can access public or private certified universities in Lebanon.
When approaching a university in Lebanon, you should bring all the following documents
-Grade 12 transcript stamped by the ministry of education in Lebanon or country of origin
-Equivalence certificate delivered by MEHE.
-Language proficiency score (for some universities)
-Entrance Exams for some universities
20. Do I need a residency permit to go to Lebanese Universities?
Yes, when you register at any Lebanese University you could apply for a student residency permit at the Lebanese General Security office.
21. What is the equivalence process?
Foreigner students who hold a General Certificate of Secondary Education issued by a governmental entity from an Arab or foreign country and want to pursue their studies in Lebanon should submit a request to the Equivalence Committee of the Ministry of Education to obtain the equivalence before registering into the institutions of higher learning/universities.
Submitting Requests for the Syrian general certificate of secondary education is exclusively done through the mail (Libanpost).
22. What are the documents that must be submitted to the Equivalency Committee?
•For general certificate of secondary education students:
-General Certificate of Secondary Education with a clear mention of success
If the documents were not issued in Lebanon, the original documents and copies should be:
1-Either stamped by the Ministry of Education in the country in which studies were completed, and then by the embassy in Lebanon so that they can by stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lebanon.
2-Or stamped by the embassy of the country in which studies were completed then by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lebanon.
•Residency card issued by the General Security for foreign students
•Administrative fees (Official Lebanese stamps for a total value of 36,000 Lebanese Pounds)
Note: All the required documents should be presented certified as required with a certified copy.
23. What are the different university scholarships available in Lebanon for refugees?
Below are some of the university scholarships in Lebanon available to refugee youth between 18-30 years old who have completed their secondary education:
- UNHCR provides DAFI scholarships and cooperates with the EU-funded HOPES scholarship program available to Syrian refugees registered under UNHCR willing to start or continue their university studies in Lebanon. For info contact TDH and HOPES at firstname.lastname@example.org ;
- UNESCO provides need-based scholarships to young Syrians and Lebanese channeled through Lebanese universities. For info contact UNESCO at email@example.com;
- SPARK has created scholarships programmes in Lebanon ranging from certified degree to vocational courses.For info contact firstname.lastname@example.org;
- American University of Beirut offers scholarships for refugees at their university, For info, contact: email@example.com;
- The University of Balamand offers scholarships for refuges at their university, For info, contact: Habbouba.Aoun@balamand.edu.lb;
- Jusoor provides scholarships and student loans to Syrian youth in Lebanon Universities LIU, AUST, AUL and BAU.For info contact Mahmoud.firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Lebanese Association for Scientific Research (LASeR) provides scholarships to Syrians and Palestinians who have completed their secondary education. For info contact email@example.com;
- UNRWA provides scholarships for PRL who completed their secondary education in Lebanon. One scholarship per year allocated for students with specific needs. For info contact UNRWA at 009613937094;
- AMIDEAST’s Diana Kamal Scholarship Search Fund helps Syrian students apply to and win scholarships to study at U.S. universities. For info contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- AMIDEAST’s Hope Fund program helps PRL apply to and win scholarships to study at U.S. universities. For info contact email@example.com
List of education organizations
79311197, 81311754, 81311752 (Beirut)
Terre des Hommes-Italy
Save the Children
Save the Children
81312310, 76315356, 79311193
Save the Children
UNHCR protection Bekaa