BEIRUT, 22 June 2022 – The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) launched the Transition Resilience Education Fund (TREF) today, in partnership with UNICEF and contributing partners particularly the European Union and Germany through the German Development Bank KfW. The TREF is an innovative aid modality to strengthen governance, transparency, efficiency and learning outcomes for children in the education sector, including in formal public education as well as alternative learning pathways designed to improve access to inclusive and quality education for children who are out of school and not learning.
Developed to harmonize the aid for basic education in Lebanon through an inclusive and strengthened governance for the education sector, the TREF will strengthen MEHE’s data collection and information sharing from School through to Regional and Central levels and amongst relevant stakeholders including donors and implementing partners to ensure accountability and transparency related to the investments made and results achieved in education for all children.
The new modality is designed to improve the timeliness of funds disbursements to schools and teachers who provide vital learning support for children, so that they can improve their learning outcomes in a safe and protective environment. It is estimated that all public schools (ie, over 1,200) and 12,000 teachers will benefit from this modality. TREF will link fund disbursements to the school level based on performance, especially regular attendance of children.
“Schools provide a safe refuge; they are vital to improve the health and mental wellbeing of children however, schools are struggling today to provide inclusive and quality learning opportunities for an increasing number of vulnerable children – many of whom are out of school,” he said. Edouard Beigbeder UNICEF Representative in Lebanon. “With the new TREF program, we will not only strengthen policymaking and implementation, but we will also ensure effective and efficient use of funds, transparency and positive impact on the education sector in Lebanon making sure that the costs of education do not prevent any child from attending school and that schools have what they need to remain open and provide an inclusive and safe environment for learning “.
Since 2017, under Reaching All Children with Education initiative, up to 470,000 Lebanese and non-Lebanese children, mostly Syrian refugees have been reached every year with access to formal education through support from the international community mainly the European Union and Germany through the German Development Bank KfW. Other donors funding the education sector included USAID, Finland, Norway, FCDO, Canada, Netherlands, France, Italy and Japan.
“Investing in education for all has been an EU priority over many years. This commitment derives from our conviction that education is a tangible gateway to ensuring a prosperous and stable Lebanon.” Rein Nieland, Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Lebanon. “With the launch of the TREF, we effectively contribute to ensuring an efficient and transparent use of funds in the Lebanese education system, which in turn will ensure that the most vulnerable children have access to safe, inclusive and quality learning. the large funding provided by the European Union and Germany, we hope to see this new aid modality attracting the interest of other like-minded donors, so that every child in Lebanon has adequate access to learn, grow, and evolve through education “.
Ambassador of Germany to Lebanon Mr. Andreas Kindl said: “Access to quality education for all children is fundamental in securing sustainable and equitable development. We are certain that this has never been more important than during the unprecedented challenges Lebanon is currently facing. In this regard, the new TREF modality is a milestone in the collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the international partners.We are convinced that TREF will substantially support MEHE’s efforts in ensuring access to quality education for all children in the country as stipulated in the national 5 Year Plan for education sector. “
MEHE launched the 5-Year General Education Plan in late 2021 which sets out key pillars of Lebanon’s vision for General Education with a focus on access, quality and governance. The MEHE 5-Year Plan for Education aims to ensure that the most vulnerable children have access to inclusive and quality learning, to build the skills they need for a life full of potential. Commitment to keep schools open, focusing on learning for all children – especially the most vulnerable, needs to be Lebanon’s priority to ensure this generation of children can bridge to a brighter future, no matter who they are.