“I was worried that she would waste years without education,” says Marah’s father, Kassam Al-Othman.
But now Marah and thousands of students like her are back in the classroom. Lebanon's Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE), along with the support of institutional donors and foreign governmental aid, extended the school day and last year were able enroll 200,000 non-Lebanese students in both morning and "second" shifts at school. An innovative partnership between HP, Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ), UNICEF and Google.org provides additional support for public schools and students across Lebanon, from Beirut to the Beqaa Valley. Currently, HP technology is being used in nine schools and will reach around 3,500 Syrian refugee students, as well as thousands of Lebanese students and teachers in the first year of the program.
“We at HP believe education is the foundation of a better future, particularly for those in underserved communities," said Alex Cho, president of HP's Personal Systems Business Group. "With this program, we saw children, parents, teachers and families for whom access to education meant not only rediscovering a sense of normalcy in their everyday lives, but also the opportunity to build a brighter future.”
“Our goal is to get them back in school and to equip them with the necessary skills,” adds Michele Malejki, HP’s global head of strategic programs for sustainability and social innovation. “By using a second-shift classroom model, Syrian and Lebanese children and their teachers all benefit from an improved learning experience."