"Witness" surprised the decision of the Minister of Education in Lebanon
About the exception of Palestinian students from getting free textbooks in public schools for the academic year 2012-2013 which incompatible with human rights alphabets
The Palestinian Association for Human Rights "Witness" surprised from the decision of the Minister of Education in Lebanon Hassan Diab about the exception of Palestinian students from getting free textbook in public schools like their Lebanese colleagues.
"Witness” has also received dozens of calls from the parents Palestinian students about the decision and its psychological reflection on their children at the beginning of the academic year especially that the student feels with discrimination and frustration from this resolution.
"Witness” has initiated and contacted the general director of the Ministry of Education Fadi Yarak to inquire about the subject, and who from his turn directly denied that there is no decision about that, and asked at the same time to provide him the names of the schools that refrain from distributing books to Palestinian students. Later the Minister of Education Hassan Diab declared in press statements this decision, which excluded Palestinian students and others from the distribution of textbooks because of the financial cost, which can strain the budget of the Lebanese state.
"Witness” also contacted MP Bahia Hariri the Chairperson of the Education Committee of the parliament, and has done the same thing with the Office of the Minister of Social Affairs, and the education department of UNRWA in Lebanon and UNICEF for Child Welfare.
The Palestinian Association for Human Rights "Witness" considers that this action contradicts particularly with the alphabets of human rights, especially the rights of the children. The second article in the Convention of the children Rights of 1990 calls for the prevention of discrimination. Also this decision is contradicted with the Convention that stand against the "Discrimination in Education” which adopted by the Educational General Conference of the United Nations Organization that held on 14/December 1960. The responsibility of the Ministry of Education should include all students that have formally enrolled in its schools. The exclusion of Palestinian students from distributing textbooks, regardless of their numbers, is an issue of the humanitarian principle.
The Ministry of Education in Lebanon can rectify this issue and its psychological implications on the non Lebanese students, through the discussion of the matter with international organizations as, UNRWA, EU, UNICEF, and UNHCR to stimulate them to pay the difference cost of the books for the non-Lebanese students whose majority from the Palestinian students. It is worth to say that, the UNRWA distributes textbooks and stationery to all students who are registered in its schools regardless of their nationality and among them Lebanese students.
Palestinian Association for Human Rights "witness"