Entrepreneurial learning in Lebanon: ETF supports pilot programme

Twenty vocational schools and twenty general secondary schools will introduce a pilot programme on entrepreneurial education in Lebanon in September, thanks to the funding of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the European Training Foundation (ETF) in lead and in cooperation with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UNESCO. In the following years the programme is expected to expand to cover all secondary schools.
The ETF, in cooperation with the Lebanese charity organisation Injaz, is liaising with the Lebanese Ministry of Education and is helping update school curricula. The ILO provides its tested education package “Know about Business” (KAB), which is available in Arabic and currently implemented in more than fifty countries in the world.
“Three years ago we started to work with Injaz on a very specific project to train career guidance counsellors in Lebanon,’” says Abdelaziz Jaouani, expert in enterprise skills development. “The counsellors also gave entrepreneurship training at a small number of schools.”

The KAB programme goes well beyond attitudes and teaches how to actually establish a business, what is cash flow or a balance sheet.  It can consist of up to 120 hours of instruction, but every country adapts the programme to its local conditions.

“We do not create entrepreneurs; we try to help these young people think differently to add a new career option, which is self-employment,” says Rania Bikhazi, Enterprise Development Specialist at ILO Regional Office for the Arab States. “The programme tackles the attitude towards entrepreneurship or the concept of self employment, and gives young people another career option to think about, which is self employment.”

This summer the project foresees a two-week intensive training course for teachers involved in the pilot phase. Then from the start of the school year, the students will benefit from the entrepreneurship classes.

In the end, cooperation with the local charity, Injaz, on a relatively small project gave the opportunity for the ETF to negotiate a more comprehensive training scheme with the government; it prepared the ground for a national entrepreneurial learning programme.

“Civil society initiatives, while very important, can’t reach the majority of students,” says Mr Jaouani. “The only way to do it is through changes in education system. So, at the ETF we target the policy level, because the policy framework is a necessary precondition for entrepreneurial learning to reach all young people.” 
The European Training Foundation is an agency of the European Union established to contribute to the development of the education and training systems of the EU partner countries. With an annual budget of €18 million, its mission is to help transition and developing countries to harness the potential of their human capital through the reform of education, training and labour market systems in the context of the EU's external relations policy. (EU Neighbourhood Info) 
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Press release
ETF website
ENPI Info Centre webpage – Education & Training

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