BEIRUT — A training program for Lebanon's teachers aimed at "inclusivity" is suspended, following accusations that it aimed to integrate Syrian migrants in Lebanon, according to a Thursday statement from the Ministry of Education.
The program was a collaboration between the ministry and the non-governmental organization Hardwired Global. The NGO reportedly requested for the program to be suspended in order to "prevent any potential harm to the teachers involved in the project," according to a statement by the ministry.
Detractors claimed the inclusivity training session was an attempt to integrate Syrian refugees into Lebanese public schools, while some social media users accused the NGO of playing a role in the management of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
The Ministry of Education had quickly refuted this interpretation, stating that the rumors circulating about the training sessions were "incorrect" and that "the project had no connection to the integration of Syrian students with Lebanese students."
The ministry also denounced Thursday "the baseless defamation campaigns targeting the Minister of Education," as well as "the Director of Orientation and Guidance and the Director General of Education ... who are making efforts to ensure that the details of the project align with the ministry's vision and refuse anything that contradicts Lebanese laws, in accordance with the minister's instructions."
The statement also called on "everyone to stay away from fabricated information and come together to save the school year."
Contacted by L'Orient Today, a source close to the NGO explained that "teachers working for the organization have been victims of a defamation campaign this week. Their photos have been widely circulated on social media accompanied by false rumors about alleged political affiliations, accusing them of working for foreign agendas."
Also contacted by L'Orient Today, the Ministry of Education was not immediately available for comment.