May 15, 2007 — EVP Lars Thunell said on a recent visit to Lebanon's SABIS School, “Education is vital to ensuring sustainable economic growth, particularly with a rapidly growing and relatively young population across the MENA region. By providing high-quality services, SABIS School is a model for further private investment in education throughout the region.”
The SABIS International School in Adma, Lebanon, IFC’s first investment in the education sector in the Middle East and North Africa, is now in its second year of operation. SIS-Adma is a greenfield elementary and secondary school designed to accommodate 1,700 students. IFC invested $8 million toward the new facilities, which have become both the flagship school and international headquarters of the SABIS Group of Schools.
The state of the art facilities, housed on a 75,000 square meter campus, include science and computer laboratories, dedicated music and art rooms, and extensive sports facilities such as a semi-Olympic swimming pool and an indoor basketball/tennis court, as well as a performance hall. In addition to these facilities, SIS-Adma also boasts an independently-housed kindergarten department. Students in nursery through kindergarten enjoy the use of their own indoor swimming pool, a multipurpose indoor gymnasium, and a special kindergarten car track.
Over the past decade, IFC has become increasingly involved in private educational activities as the demand for services is rising at a faster rate than governments can supply. IFC's efforts have been focused on enhancing access to high-quality education to people from all income groups, introducing innovative means of financing and delivering education services, providing lifelong learning to help build a skilled workforce, providing services that complement public provision, helping student and small institutions obtain access to finance, and providing jobs for skilled teachers and professors.
IFC's Health and Education Department supports the start-up or expansion of initiatives in many sub-sectors of education, including primary and secondary schooling with a particular interest in school networks, e-learning initiatives, student financing programs, and other ancillary services. IFC also invests in higher education projects. IFC-supported education activities provide access to education services to more than 400,000 students annually in developing countries.
For more information about IFC's impact in Health and Education and IFC’s activities in MENA, click here.
Health and Education Department, IFC