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Monday, July 11, 2011

I came back from the states to reside in Lebanon recently, but this country never seizes to shock me.

Talented students are under estimated in Beirut, Lebanon. Why? Let’s go back to the beginning and take a look at our schools. We have private and public schools. Are the over-priced private schools providing the right education for the children?

I was curious.

According to several parents I have interviewed, Private School tuition are on an all-time high. What changes in the curriculum? According to one parent, they have introduced dance classes: two 40 minute sessions per week.

Is that enough?

Let’s check our numbers; did you know that the Unites States comes in at number 9 as the fattest country in the world, whereas Lebanon comes at number 80 according to a Forbes study in 2007?

This is ironic because as an American, it is incredibly easy to receive a sports scholarship whether you play soccer, volleyball, foot ball, even cross country running. In Lebanese high schools, students hardly have two sessions a week dedicated for talent development whether it is Arts or in the Athletics division.

When American students are automatically provided with full athletic scholarships in college, they tend to build up their talent and work towards achieving it. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Lebanon because the ministry of education does not provide any service close to this. Students of Lebanon decide to forget about their potential talents and put them to sleep.

In the United States, when a high school student engages and play for his school team, he gets all expenses paid by the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) in college.  Not only is the tuition paid, but also living expenses including housing, food, and transportation. On the other hand, talented students in Lebanon are hardly appreciated for their efforts. They are usually compensated with trophies or medals and this is the furthest they can go.

There is so much genuine talent that is admired in Lebanon, but the government remains silent concerning this matter. Since Beirut adopts so much from the West, why don’t we do something about it? One solution is to advocate for a scholarship system for our athletes. Not only does it get the local community to be aware health wise but it exercises a sense of patriotism for talented individuals and lessens the immigration trend.

The young generation is in need of guidance, particularly during this phase when a teen is neither a child nor an adult. Workshops targeted towards parents, teachers, and staff can also assist them in finding new ways to communicate with children, and collaborating directly with schools. This is crucial for the community as a whole; possibilities of implementing an athletic curriculum can broaden the horizon of students and help them perfect their talents.

Shirley Gerges

Posted By Ideas Group at
07:25 - AM
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