CLES – Lebanese Center for Special Education – holds press conference and orientation session at the Ministry of Education

Tuesday 4 October 2016, CLES held a press conference and orientation session at the Ministry of Education, under the patronage of the Minister of Education His Excellency Mr. Elias Bou Saab to launch the activities it will be organizing in the different schools that are part of its Learning Support Classes Project.

This project is part of CLES external activities in collaboration with the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education; it is aimed at limiting failure and dropouts from schools. The LS project comprises establishing 200 Learning Support classes in public schools across Lebanon and equipping the classes with the specific materials and technologies required to teach students with learning difficulties, as well as training 2-3 teachers from each school to help provide students with the required academic and educational support and developing the capabilities of the educational counselors at the Ministry of Education.

The activities included in the “10.10.DYS” campaign launched in partnership with the Ministry, aimed at increasing awareness about specific learning disabilities, will take place during the first weeks of October and will include: Distribution of 40,000 DYS puzzle, pencil cases and stationary to nursery and elementary students and their teachers in the “Learning Support” network of schools with a common “edutainment” classroom activity.

Mrs. Carmen  Chahine Debbane, Founder and President of CLES, welcomed all attendees and spoke about the importance of the collaboration with the Ministry of Education to create a more welcoming and successful atmosphere to children with specific learning disabilities.

Mr. Fadi Yarak, General Director of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education spoke at the conference saying: “Mrs. Carmen Chahine Debbane is calling this week “10.10.DYS”: I will go further and describe as a ”ten out of ten” week, giving a new meaning to academic achievement and making it about the success of each and every student, every school, and every educator.” He also called on all participants to attend the conference held on Monday 10 October 2016 by CLES, as part of their strategy along with the Minister of Education, His Excellency Mr. Elias Bou Saab to reduce school failures.

 Ms Hilda Khoury, Director of the Directorate of Public Schools then addressed the attendees stating that “When we talk about a student having learning disabilities, we are talking about a special student and not a disabled student. In Lebanon today, we must change our way of thinking to avoid punishing students with special needs and perceiving them as inferiors; we must understand and help them and that is your responsibility”.

A presentation was then given about the different specific learning disabilities and about the items that will be distributed to the schools and ways of creating awareness activities with those items.

The Press conference and orientation session included 104 principals, 200 learning support class teachers, Ministry of Education regional directors and members of the Directorate of Public Schools team.

CLES is organizing a series of events starting in the first week of October with the objective of commemorating learning “DYSabilities” day on October 10th.  The events will involve various CLES stakeholders with focus on the elementary students in the “Learning Support Class” network of public schools and their teachers in the presence of key people at the Ministry of Education, educational institutions, international organizations, DYS families, and media representatives.