The International Labour Organization (ILO) has inaugurated a newly constructed section in a school building in northern Lebanon, in an initiative funded by Germany through KfW Development Bank.
The rehabilitation works in the town of Muhammara in the northern Akkar district replaced three hangar structures, increasing the school’s capacity, and creating a more decent learning environment for the children in the area.
The event was attended by officials representing the Lebanese government, the ILO and KfW, as well as local community leaders, teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders.
During the inauguration ceremony, ILO representative Mr. Richard Lorenz said: "Today, with the support of all parties, we have successfully constructed a two-story school building within the existing school compound, expanding its capacity from 400 to 1,200 students, bidding farewell to the unsuitable hangar structures that previously hindered the students' educational journey."
KfW-Director Dr. Solveig Buhl said: "We are happy that we have gathered here today to inaugurate this beautiful school which has been rehabilitated with funding from the German government through KfW Development Bank. We would like to thank ILO and the community of Muhammara for their fruitful efforts and look forward to seeing this new conducive learning environment being put to good use by the children of Muhammara."
The representative of the Minister of Education Mr. Nicolas Khoury said: "This achievement represents a significant educational development for the people of Muhammara, which will soon be reflected in an increase in the number of learners and an improvement in the quality of education and its outcomes." He added: "The importance of this building lies in its capacity to accommodate the entire educational process and contribute to its success through its design, which takes into consideration the provision of all educational services, including psychological and social support."
The head of Muhammara municipality Mr. Abdul Menhem Osman said: "The state of education in any society represents its deep interaction with its future. It is the fundamental cornerstone that builds capable and promising generations, capable of facing challenges and contributing to the development of their communities. The inauguration of the new school we are celebrating today is a shining example of commitment towards providing a decent learning environment that contributes to the comprehensive development of students."
The school principal Mr. Bassam Agha expressed his gratitude to all parties that contributed to the construction of the new school building.
The infrastructure improvement project implemented by ILO’s Employment Intensive Infrastructure Programme (EIIP), funded by The German government through the KfW Development Bank, involved the construction of a two-story school building within the existing school compound. Major works encompassed civil, structural, architectural, electrical and plumbing works.
Activities were executed over a period of 11 months, generating an impressive 19,049 workdays of employment, thereby contributing significantly to local short-term job creation and fostering economic growth in the area. The project was implemented under decent working conditions, including strict occupational safety and health measures as well as effective recruitment and participation of women and persons with disabilities.