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Syrian Students Sit Exams At Lebanon Refugee School

posted Jun 18, 2013, 9:04 AM by Mpelembe   [ updated Jun 18, 2013, 9:05 AM ]

Syrian refugees living in the Lebanese city of Tripoli sit exams in order to be able to continue with their higher education in Lebanon and abroad. The school was set up at the beginning of the academic year to cater for the growing number of refugees in the country.

TRIPOLILEBANON  (REUTERS) - June can be a stressful time for teenagers, with many gearing up to sit exams. But at a Lebanese school in Tripoli, students have had a lot to deal with in recent months.

The pupils taking their exams here are refugees from Syria, who were uprooted from their homes and forced to abandon their education.

Due to the civil war in their country, many of the students had to flee their hometown in search for better living conditions in Lebanon, leaving most of their belongings at home, including their education documents.

Not being able to provide previous records of school certificates makes it difficult for students to apply for the Lebanese official exams which open the doors to higher education levels.

But being well aware of their situation, Al-Iman school in Tripoli opened their doors to those students, offering them the chance to complete their exams under academic supervision.

Member the committee supervising the education of Syrian refugees in the school,Mohammed Ghassan al-Hajj, explained the school's initiative.

"Because a big number of students weren't able to bring the required documents due to the war and destruction that are taking place in most of the Syrian villages, we took the responsibility of doing the exams in our schools by taking measures which are more accurate than the official exams that the Ministry of education runs, and this is due to the significance of this issue," explained al-Hajj.

Al-Hajj said the school will work together with the Syrian national coalition to insure that universities accept the student's certificates following the completion of their exams.

"With regard to the certificates that will be presented the national coalition, they will seek to accept certificates that are approved by our schools for Syrian students in all the Arab countries and other countries, with god's will. This is based on the agreement that was put forward by the national coalition at the beginning of the academic year and which was agreed in a conference in Istanbul," added al-Hajj.

Last year, Al-Iman schools opened their doors to Syrian refugee children, allowing them to continue their studies following the Syrian curriculum and taught by Syrian teachers who have been displaced by the unrest.

The programme was provided by 'Al-Iman' schools and institutes, led by the Islamic Education Association. The association has seven schools and one institute for girls across TripoliAkkar and al-Dunnieh, in northern Lebanon.

Taking on this initiative, hundreds of Syrian students completed their exams at the school in June.

They completed exams in all subjects to achieve certificates of Grade 9, which allows them to proceed to secondary education, and Baccalaureate (Grade 12) which makes them proceed to university level.

The exams were held in four different schools and on four consecutive days.

Arije Moussa was one of those students.

"We came here at the start of the academic year because we want to study to build our future and so that our efforts don't go to waste," said Moussa.

The head of Al-Iman schools Rasmiyya Maasrani, said teachers prepared the exam papers not long before the exams were due.

"We followed a very important method, we asked the committees to put the questions for every subject, we brought people from all our branches, we have seven branches for the education of Syrian refugees, in Akkar, Sir and Tripoli. We put the teachers together to prepare the exams. The exams are being prepared confidentially every day, and they are printed only one day before the exams, so they are not being written in advance," said Maasrani.

One Syrian student Karim Sebai, stressed the significance of education support for Syrian students, saying that it is needed to help them build a better future for their country.

"We weren't able to stay inside Syria to follow up with the Syrian revolution, so we want to follow it up from abroad, we want to study and complete our education in order to go back to our country which will be waiting for us and in need of reconstruction, staff and educated people. So we need someone to take care of us, we just want to secure the completion of our university level, and insure that our certificates get accepted, because we worked hard to get them," said Syrian baccalaureate student Sebai.