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JLSS Consultation with Local Industry

As JLSS is preparing for its third year of implementing the Dual System program in its vocational department, it was time to develop its relationship with the local industry further. A one-day consultation about the Dual System was held in JLSS on Monday 7 September 2009. Invitations were sent to all the industries where our students train. The director of JLSS, Rev. George D. Haddad, along with the program coordinator of the vocational school, Mr. Nasr Debs, had previously visited the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Zahleh and met its president Mr. Edmond Jraisati to explain the purpose of this consultation and deliver the invitation to the chamber. Similar invitations were sent to unions of various industrial professions in Zahleh and to GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit) in Beirut. Vocational Consultation 2009
Mr. Saeed Gideon attended our consultation representing the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Zahleh. Dr. Michael Guder attended from GTZ. Mr. Carlos Naffaa represented the Department of Vocational Training in the Ministry of Education. President of the Owners' Union of General and Car Mechanics Industries in the Bikaa and Zahleh, Mr. George Daoud, represented his union, and many owners or managers of industries in which JLSS vocational students train also attended.
The consultation began at 10.00 am with coffee and fresh pretzel and pastries from our bakery. Trainers, teachers, and members of staff of our vocational department received our guests and mingled with them. It was a very valuable time to get to know each other.
The program included two parts. The first part was lead by the director Rev. George D. Haddad who shared his knowledge about Vocational Training as he saw it in Germany and Switzerland, especially Dual System vocational training. He showed a presentation about vocational training in Germany which he acquired during his last visit to the Chamber in Stuttgart. He explained the pivotal role of chambers and professional unions in Germany and Switzerland in vocational training. He added that the Department of Vocational Training of the Ministry of Education in Lebanon and GTZ have done a wonderful job in establishing the Dual System in vocational schools in Lebanon since 1995, but what was still lacking was the involvement of the private sector, mainly the chambers and professional unions. It was wonderful that the contract between the German and Lebanese governments for the implementation of the Dual System in Lebanon was renewed for the next three years, but it is now the duty of all parties concerned to demand the full involvement of chambers and professional unions in vocational training. This is a necessary pre-condition for the success of Dual System training in Lebanon.
Vocational Consultation 2009 A very healthy discussion followed in which all persons attending participated. Dr. Guder of GTZ informed the meeting that a contract was signed with the Minister of Education in Lebanon for the involvement of the chambers in Dual System training. He reflected on his experience in Lebanon and the difficulties that were experienced in establishing this new system. He emphasized the importance of consultations like this one, and the importance of chambers and professional unions in the system.
Mr. Carlos Naffaa reported to the meeting about the great work that was done by the Department of Vocational Training and GTZ in Lebanon regarding Dual System training and welcomed the participation of the chambers and industries in the process.
After a lengthy discussion and the exchange of ideas, it was concluded that the Chamber in Zahleh will be the overall umbrella for coordinating with the local industries to follow-up on this proposal, and Schneller School will assist in every way it could, including requesting for experts from Germany and Switzerland to attend future consultations and assist the chamber in Zahleh to take this very important role.
The second part of the consultation was lead by the program coordinator of our vocational department, Mr. Nasr Debs, who discussed the practical implementation of Dual System training in the Vocational Consulation 2009 local industries. He explained the JLSS expectations of how our students should be trained, the reports, grading system, and above all safety measures. A discussion followed with the owners and managers of the local industries who also gave their input and impressions.
A seven-minute video about safety was then shown, after which our guests  visited the various workshops of our school.
Lunch followed at 1.00 pm. Our kitchen staff prepared a delicious lunch which was enjoyed by our guests as well as our trainers, teachers, and members of staff. It was also an excellent time for our trainers, teachers, and members of staff to get to know the owners and managers and continue discussions with them. Some of our guests were JLSS alumni who were delighted to be in Schneller and catch up with old friends.
All our guests were very thankful for the wonderful and productive time they spent in JLSS. They praised the wonderful idea of this consultation and insisted that it be continued and followed up.
JVocational Consulation 2009LSS trainers, teachers, and members of staff were also delighted with the consultation and benefitted enormously form it. Our students will certainly benefit most.
We thank all our guests for their attendance and wonderful participation. We especially thank GTZ and Dr. Guder for being with us and for their wonderful support of JLSS. We thank Mr. Carlos Naffaa and the Department of Vocational Training. We thank Mr. Saeed Gideon and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Zahleh. We also thank Mr. George Daoud and the Owners' Union of General and Car Mechanics Industries in the Bikaa and Zahleh.
We finally thank all JLSS trainers, teachers, and members of staff who worked hard to make that day a wonderful success.

Photos by Mr. Elie Mrad
Schneller School Name in Arabic
Johann Ludwig Schneller Schule

Education for Peace since 1860