Ana Aqra's innovative teacher training and coaching is combating fourth-grade high repetition rates and consequent dropout rates, reducing achievement gaps of Syrian refugee children to ensure sustained schooling.

  

Facts & Figures
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  • Location: Beirut, Lebanon
  • Alfanar Investee Since: 2012
  • Total Alfanar Investment: £168,463
  • Social Impact:  3,129 lives impacted
  • SDGs:

The Challenge

Even before the Syrian conflict began, 70 percent of Lebanese parents sent their children to private schools due to concerns about the quality of the public-school system. With the influx of Syrian refugee families into Lebanon, the already stressed education system was stretched to breaking point. With an estimated 630,000 refugee children in Lebanon in 2018, many children are unable to access education at all, and many of the most vulnerable simply cannot afford to continue learning. In some of Lebanon’s disadvantaged communities, up to 40 percent of students drop out of school simply because they do not have the needed literacy skills to succeed. Today, 59% of Syrian children and 6% of Lebanese children aged 6 to 14 are out of school in Lebanon. 

The Organisation

Ana Aqra Association aims to support the children from underprivileged communities, and works with them to ensure that they are able to remain in formal schooling. They support not only the educational needs of each child, but also their psychosocial and cultural needs, while also providing support to parents, teachers and the administration at each school. Since 2010, the primary focus of Ana Aqra has been to advance literacy through investing in programmes that build the capacity of educators, while providing the opportunity for struggling readers to become independent learners.

What’s Been Achieved with Alfanar’s Support

Alfanar has been partnered with Ana Aqra since 2012, and has worked with them to evolve its capacity as a service provider. Armed with a new business plan and inspired by a study mission to the Hippocampus Learning Centres in India, Ana Aqra has created a new social enterprise unit, which provides teacher-training services and educational resources. By working directly with educators, it seeks to impact the largest possible number of pupils, and achieve long term change to education in Lebanon.

As of 2018, the number of refugee children and Lebanese children in the public education system had reached parity, with many other children unable to access the education they require. As such, Ana Aqra has also expanded its services to include non-formal education pathways conducted in learning centres, targeting out of-school children who are awaiting enrolment into the public schools. To counter obstacles of access and to foster a culture of learning, Ana Aqra provides two mobile learning centres that travel to remote areas, thus providing the first step to school. Ana Aqra recovered all the costs of its social business unit in a two-year time span.

We are grateful for Alfanar’s efforts to support the sustainability of the association. Alfanar’s focus on improving our teacher training product and approach and developing it as a viable income-generating strategy is key to our long-term viability.

Rima Musallam, Ana Aqra Executive Director 

Looking Ahead

Overall, Ana Aqra aims to impact another 3,300 teachers and 250,000 children. Ana Aqra is also selling its products to private schools in remote areas, with the aim of building a portfolio in the private sector to provide greater income through which to support their activities sustainably. Moreover, Ana Aqra recently won a consulting project in Greece to support education efforts for refugees and is studying the possibility to do the same for displaced people in Iraq. Alfanar is also currently supporting Ana Aqra in digitising and selling their Education Toolkit, to further increase revenue.