01.11.2016 - UNESCO Office in Beirut

Learning To Live Together programme: a new approach to manage and support Education in Emergencies

In the framework of UNESCO efforts to support countries affected by the Syria Crisis, and in direct response to the needs identified by teachers from those countries, UNESCO Office in Beirut, in partnership with Arigatou International and the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education, organized a 3-day workshop to introduce teachers to a new Programme on “Learning To Live Together” (LTLT).

More than 60 participants gathered in this event in Broummana, Lebanon, including teachers from UNESCO’s Enhancing Access to Secondary Education (EASE) project and UNESCO’s Associated Schools Network in Lebanon, as well as teachers and trainers from other countries affected by the Syria Crisis (i.e. Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Syria). Several international consultants, Arigatou International trainers, and UNESCO experts have also joined the workshop.

Based on the Ethics for children manual developed by Arigatou International (LTLT Programme) in collaboration with UNESCO and UNICEF (2008), the “Learning to Live Together. An Intercultural and Inter-faith Programme for Ethics Training”, is being carried out in different parts of the world. The Programme has proven its efficiency in addressing a wide range of sensitive themes, many related to emergency education, and has been tailored to suit the Lebanese context. In addition to its prominent success in prevention of violence, racism, discrimination or exclusion, this Programme also contributes to youth empowerment, poverty alleviation, conflict transformation, reconciliation, interfaith collaboration, global citizenship and social cohesion.

Taking place in Broumana from 27 to 29 October 2016, this kick-off workshop constituted an exploratory endeavor that serves two main objectives:

- To facilitate the hands-on training of a number of teachers from the EASE project schools in Lebanon, so that they can immediately apply their knowledge and skills in promoting LTLT in their respective schools and classrooms.

- to assess the relevance of the training programme to be implemented in other countries, including in the Arab Region.

As the participants mentioned in their comments, this programme is relevant also beyond education in emergency. “This is the programme we needed” said one Lebanese teacher, pointing to its potential in helping both teachers and students manage diversity constructively.

During this three-day workshop, the trainees and observers benefited from an illuminating combination of theory and practice that provides them with both the understanding and the skills required to putting the programme in practice in the context of Education in Emergencies, as well as in non-emergency settings.

This training provided participants with an in-depth overview of the Programme’s benefits for both students and teachers, as well for the broader school and out-of-school community.

Participants were equipped with tools to “make comfortable the uncomfortable” in the terms used by one of the consultants, Dr. Carmel Gallagher, UK/Northern Ireland, as well as to reflect upon their own practice.

Finally, with the aim to guarantee that the current training workshop does not stay as a single event, participants were engaged in contemplating follow up steps. Ideally, this initial kick-off workshop will be followed by additional activities, based on the trainees forming a dedicated network and community of practice.

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