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GIZ Visit to Evaluate DS Program

A three member group representing GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) and the General Directorate for Vocational Training in the Lebanese Ministry of Education visited our school on Monday 21 February 2011. The group consisted of Ms. Nada Melki, Mr. Gerhard Rettenbacher, and Mr. Wilhelm F. Weidmann. They had a meeting upon arrival with the Director of JLSS Rev. George D. Haddad. Also attending were Mr. Joseph Bou Simaan, Head of the Vocational Department, and Mr. Nasr Debs, Program Coordinator for the Vocational Department.
The discussion was about the implementation of the Dual System Program iGIZ Group in JLSS n vocational training, its challenges, and future prospects. The director requested the help of GIZ in pushing for legislative amendments in Lebanon to equate the DS certificate with the BT (Technical Baccalaureate) for employment purposes in the various departments of the Lebanese Government, especially the army and police. He explained to the visiting delegation the concern of parents and students that upon graduation with the DS certificate, graduates are not give equal opportunities for employment as the DS certificate is still not recognized by the various governmental departments. Although graduates of the DS program have higher qualifications and technical skills than those of the BT program, their skills are not recognized officially. Parents and students are beginning to abandon the DS program in favor of the BT program because of this issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
The other issue that was discussed was the need to involve the private sector, mainly the chambers, associations, and industries, in the DS program. He told them about the consultation that JLSS held in September 2009 in order to move in this direction.
Members of the visiting group emphasized the work that was done in this respect in Sidon, and the plan to have the same meetings in Zahle next March in preparation for the involvement of the private sector in DS vocational training. JLSS was invited to attend those meetings.
The director expressed his regret, that due to bureaucratic procedures, the General Directorate of Vocational Training in the Lebanese Ministry of Education granted JLSS the permission to start new vocational programs two days after the deadline for registering students for the current Academic Year. He added that JLSS was denied the right to start new programs it was ready to launch this year. This is a waste of resources and is very unfair to our students. It also presents challenges for JLSS with its partners who generously provide funds, and cannot understand that such delays are possible by the very authority that should be supporting and developing vocational training. He expressed his hope that such issues be discussed at higher levels, and that the General Directorate of Vocational Training be assisting, rather than delaying, private schools in their efforts to develop vocational training.
The group then visited the various workshops in JLSS before leaving.
We express our sincere gratitude to Ms. Nada Melki, Mr. Gerhard Rettenbacher, and Mr. Wilhelm F. Weidmann for their kind visit and wonderful meeting. We also thank GIZ and GTZ for the marvelous support JLSS is receiving which is enabling it to provide highly qualified vocational training to its students. We look forward to developing our partnership with GIZ and GTZ as we make our school and all its resources available to the enhancement and realization of Dual System vocation training in Lebanon.
Schneller School Name in Arabic
Johann Ludwig Schneller Schule

Education for Peace since 1860