Principals of Tripoli’s Schools Rely on the Mukhtars to Spread Messages of Peace and Nonviolence
When Tripolitans will visit “Mukhtars” of Al Qobbeh, Abou Samra and El Tall in Tripoli during the month of October, they will receive flyers with messages highlighting the importance of the role of parents in the education and schooling of their children. The idea of the campaign comes from the principals of six schools participating in the “Violence Free schools” initiative (VFS) implemented in Tripoli and its neighboring areas. The principals wanted to reach the parents of their students, through the local “Mukhtars”, to insist on the importance of parental collaboration and follow-up in order to protect the school from all forms of violence.
“A child spends 6 hours in school and 18 hours at home, this means that the role of parents in education is essential”. “If we don’t take care of our children, it will be hard for others to do so”. “Education is not only the responsibility of the school’s director and the teachers but it is also the responsibility of the parents’”. Those are some of the messages printed on these flyers and which were distributed on Tuesday, the 19th of September 2017 during a meeting bringing together principals of the participating schools and the Mukhtars to request their collaboration in this campaign; in the context of the VFS initiative which is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with “…for Development, S.A.L.” and Center for Active Citizenship and in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and funded by Germany.
This gathering was preceded by a series of meetings with the principals of the schools involved (Suleiman Al-Boustany School for Boys, Ibin Sina Middle School for Boys, Al Fadila School for Boys, Ibrahim Yazegi School for Boys, Al Arz School for Boys and Al Jadida School for Boys.)
Speaking on behalf of the participating school directors, Mostapha Dernayka, Director of the Suleiman Al-Boustany School for Boys, highlighted the importance of the role of the Mukhtars and their vital support so as to mitigate all forms of violence in the concerned public schools. “The communication between the Mukhtars and the local residents of the neighborhood could contribute to directing the parents of our students towards a greater cooperation with the school” he said.
“All forms of violence are rejected. We should all fight against violence especially in schools. We are willing to help and spread the messages of peace education distributed today and advocate for change in the school environment” said Mukhtar of Al Qobbeh.
In addition to the flyers disseminated to the Mukhtars and the schools, banners and posters holding the same messages of peace and nonviolence will be distributed all over Tripoli.
The UNDP “Peace Building in Lebanon” project has launched, since 2014, the "Violence Free Schools" initiative, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. The initiative aims to introduce the concepts of peace building into the school environment. So far, 30 public schools have received support in the Bekaa and Mount Lebanon; and the project is currently supporting 15 public schools in Tripoli and its neighboring areas.