Beirut: a computers donation fills a void for two schools

At the Riad Al-Solh secondary public school, in the Ras el-Nabee area of Beirut, there is not a pupil in sight in the classrooms or in the playground. With the pandemic that has been ravaging the country for more than a year now, young people are far from finding their way back to school. The establishment, in any case, is not able to accommodate its some 500 pupils, having been seriously damaged by the double explosion of the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020. Broken windows, blasted doors and a cracked sports ground, the site requires colossal interventions. But UNESCO is preparing to rebuild and rehabilitate this public establishment, identified among the schools that were affected the most by the blasts. In the meantime, the UN organization delivered several computers to the school this week, donated by Unilever and as part of the Global coalition for education, and UNESCO’s flagship initiative LiBeirut.

“This equipment will be useful to us, said Abir Homsi, Director of the school. We will use these computers in the classrooms”. “Our students are not the most fortunate”, she adds, revealing that the young students find many difficulties in taking online courses in light of the pandemic. According to her, 80% of them do not have computers at home and follow the lessons on their phones.

© UNESCO

At the Laure Mghayzel secondary public school for girls, which was recently renovated after the explosions, the Unilever donation is just as welcome. While the 400 young girls of the institution also find it very difficult to attend classes online, so do the teachers. “Our students attend classes on their phones or share a computer with their siblings, which complicates things, explains a school supervisor while receiving the computers. Our teachers don’t have computers at home sometimes and have to teach from school. These computers that will be allocated to different classrooms will be particularly beneficial to them”.

A total of 24 laptops were donated to the two schools, along with 13 desktop computers, 36 screens, 36 keyboards and various cables and stands.

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