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As we Start the New Academic Year: Reflections of a School Principal on Special Education and Inclusion in Lebanon

In the context of Lebanon, a nation distinguished by its cultural diversity and the difficulties brought on by a history of political instability, going back to school is especially significant. When special schooling is taken into account, this is even more true. The Lebanese educational system is doing an admirable job of ensuring that students, including those with learning challenges, may return to school in a safe and productive manner. Lebanese schools, like those around the world, have experienced significant interruptions since the COVID-19 outbreak. Returning to school is evidence of tenacity and resilience. Due to the need for special kind help, this return may be significantly more challenging for students with challenges. In Lebanon, special education is crucial to this process since it works to provide a welcoming and accessible atmosphere for all learners.

Schools in Lebanon have been attempting to put inclusive practices in place that cater to the various needs of their learners. Offering individualized education plans (IEPs), providing assistive technology, and preparing instructors to help students with disabilities effectively are all ways that schools are using to promote inclusion. However, problems still exist. The education system in Lebanon is under a great deal of stress as a result of the country’s economic difficulties and political instability. The difficulty of guaranteeing the availability of essential resources for special education, such as qualified professionals and specialized facilities, persists. Additionally, Lebanon’s population’s distinctive linguistic and cultural variety makes efforts to promote inclusive education more challenging and calls for culturally sensitive methods.

The dedication to inclusive education and going back to school, however, is steadfast. It is not merely a social and educational necessity. The many communities of Lebanon are brought together, tolerated, and understood via education. By making sure that students with disabilities are involved in this process, Lebanon works to create a society that is more equal and inclusive and in which everyone, regardless of their origins or abilities, has the chance to learn, develop, and contribute to the future of the country.

The pursuit of inclusive education in Lebanon is further complicated by the country’s distinctive linguistic and cultural diversity. To accommodate the different origins of their learners, it is expected for schools to implement culturally sensitive strategies, ensuring that their educational experiences are meaningful and respectful of their cultural identities.

Special education is crucial in providing a welcoming and accessible atmosphere for all learners. Schools in Lebanon are implementing inclusive practices, such as individualized education plans (IEPs), assistive technology, and teacher training for students with disabilities. However, the country faces challenges in ensuring the availability of essential resources for special education, such as qualified professionals and specialized facilities.

 

Lebanon’s determination to inclusive education and the return to school is unwavering in the face of these obstacles. In a country distinguished by its diversity, education is not only a social but also a political necessity. It acts as a potent catalyst for promoting harmony, intolerance tolerance, and comprehension between Lebanon’s many communities. Lebanon makes tremendous strides in fostering a more equal and inclusive society by ensuring that students with disabilities are an integral part of this educational process. The tenacity of Lebanon’s educational system and its unshakable commitment to inclusive education stand as beacons of light in this difficult situation, showing a route to a better future for all of its residents

Elias Choufani

Dr. Elias Choufani is currently a secondary school director serving in the field of education in various capacities since 35 years. Also as a musician, and song writer, Dr. Choufani wrote a variety of poems and songs dealing with family and education issues. During the last 4 years, Dr. Choufani, along with his daughter Dima (a pianist) established a free of charge piano school to help children develop their music skills, believing that, out of research, this will help develop their emotional intelligence as well. His work is fully dedicated to education and administration, especially working on individual difference and different learning styles to help students achieve through activity-oriented and project-based learning. Also, the books he wrote are fully related to family issues.

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