syrian children lebanon refugee camp Icare/ZumaPress

La instrucción de los niños refugiados de Siria

BEIRUT – Cuando me hice cargo del Ministerio de Educación y Enseñanza Superior del Líbano en febrero de 2014, afronté dos empeños enormes. Además de mejorar la gestión y la calidad del sistema público de instrucción del Líbano, tuve que decidir cómo abordar la afluencia sin precedentes de refugiados procedentes de Siria: de ellos medio millón, aproximadamente, niños.

Una posibilidad habría sido la de centrarse exclusivamente en impartir instrucción a los niños libaneses, con lo que se mantendría la categoría de nuestro país durante mucho tiempo como importante centro intelectual en Oriente Medio y dejar el problema de los refugiados en manos de la comunidad internacional. Al fin y al cabo, el Líbano ya ha hecho mucho más que muchos otros países, al aceptar bastante más de un millón de refugiados sirios, pese a la intensa presión que representaban para la población y la economía locales.

En cambio, adopté la decisión de brindar a esos niños, mientras estuvieran en suelo libanés, una instrucción de calidad en un medio estructurado para que, cuando puedan por fin regresar a Siria, tengan las aptitudes y los conocimientos con los que reconstruir su país. El mayor riesgo, a mi juicio, habría sido dejar a dichos niños abandonados a la ociosidad, con sus esperanzas y aspiraciones frustradas o, peor aún, forzados a hacer de trabajadores infantiles o atraídos por ideologías radicales.

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