BEIRUT: A child advocacy organization is decrying the recent decision by the Education Ministry to exclude non-Lebanese students from a free textbook distribution program.
A press release issued Thursday by Developmental Action without Borders or Nabaa says the decision is highly unfair and that it violates an international convention on child rights to which Lebanon is a signatory.
“Nabaa highly disapprove the decision made by the Ministry of Education, as it is unfair to the Palestinian children. In fact, it violates the international conventions, treaties and customs on human rights in general and on the rights of the child in particular,” the press release reads.
Parliament recently passed a law stipulating that all students up until grade nine would get their textbooks for free. Nabaa said Palestinians are excluded from that program and families have had to purchase textbooks by themselves.
The organization says the decision violates the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Nabaa cited two articles of the convention that they say the new law violates. The articles call for participating countries to make sure there is no discrimination against children and to create free primary education available to all.
“The parents of Palestinian students, obliged to buy their children’s books themselves, are upset and describe this decision as racist and unfair for them and their children. It might even affect their children’s psychological stand and school performance,” the release said.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 05, 2012, on page 4.