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The World Bank Supports Lebanon's Efforts to Upgrade its Education System

November 30, 2010

WASHINGTON / BEIRUT, November 30, 2010 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today the Second Education Development Project for Lebanon. The objective of the project is to improve teaching quality and the learning environment in general education and in preschool in the Lebanese Republic; and to increase governance and managerial capacity of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and schools.

The Second Education Development Project (US$40 million) will contribute to the second phase of education sector reform based on the Government of Lebanon´s Education Sector Development Plan, with a focus on “quality learning for growth” at the preschool, primary and secondary education levels. The plan aims at modernizing the public education sector in Lebanon, thus particularly benefiting the poorer families, and building the capacity of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to effectively manage the whole education system and to make evidence-based policy decisions.

One of Lebanon’s main strengths is its human capital; however it has traditionally faced significant migration and brain drain. Lebanon needs to invest in a public education system for which production and quality meet domestic and global labor market demand”, said Hedi Larbi, Country Director for the Middle East Department.

The Project will build on the achievements of the first Education Development Project which closed on December 31, 2009, after a nine-year implementation period. The first project succeeded in building a solid consensus around the education strategy and in creating the institutional capacity and knowledge base to implement long-term education reforms. The new project will consolidate and continue the ongoing reforms, while at the same time extending the agenda to incorporate early childhood education/preschool, teacher policies, and open the dialogue in the higher education sector.

While Lebanon achieves relatively good education outcomes compared with other middle-income countries, Lebanon, just like the rest of the Middle East and North Africa Region, needs to focus on greatly enhancing the quality of its education system. Teachers are at the chore of any competent education system. Enhancing the qualifications and performance of the teaching workforce will help increase the competitiveness of the Lebanese education system”, said Steen Lau Jorgensen, Human Development Sector Director, MNA Region.

The Second Education Development Project is fully in line with the goals of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) FY11-14. The CPS, which was approved by the Bank’s Board of Governors in August 2010, guides the World Bank Group’s business in Lebanon and sets out a selective program of Bank Group support linked to the country’s development strategy in coordination with other development partners and donors.

The project is in line with the strategic objective of the fourth CPS pillar that seeks to improve the quality of the public education system. It will contribute to the CPS objective of unleashing the country’s full potential for growth and employment creation.

Media Contacts
In Washington
Hafed Al-Ghwell
Tel : (202) 473-8930
In Beirut
Mona Ziade
Tel : (961) 1 987800