Adonis Diaries

Is The Pen Mightier Than The Sword?

Posted on: November 13, 2014

Is The Pen Mightier Than The Sword?

The Lebanese spend more on education than anything but food, more per capita than any other country. It’s a down-payment of hope in Lebanon’s future.

In schools as on the borders and checkpoints, the UK stands beside Lebanon with actions not words.
The UK is now Lebanon’s main education partner, through four game-changing programmes.

For the second year, we are getting school textbooks to every pupil aged 6-15, over 300,000 kids.

We are working with the Education Ministry to get every child into school. At over 50m USD, this is the largest ever UK project with the Lebanese state.

With the Ministry and Adyan, we are getting citizenship and coexistence into the curriculum. Leaders from all religious groups have agreed how to teach all 6-17 year old pupils about a united Lebanon rather than a divided one.

This is the first academic year when English will be the most studied language. The British Council are giving Lebanese kids the key that unlocks the global market. At thirty graduation ceremonies in two years, I have seen how empowering this is.

No child should miss out on their education. Yet a growing number risk becoming a lost generation, vulnerable to radicalisation and manipulation. We want to make it a fairer fight: we are arming Lebanon’s youth with knowledge.

People talk about countering ISIL extremism with boots on the ground. We’re doing it with books in the hand.

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