School closures during the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated inequalities and made it difficult for many students around the world to get an education. In Lebanon, this was made especially acute by a deep economic recession, high fuel prices and infrastructure problems such as the Beirut explosion in August 2020. Out of necessity they leave school to enter the labor force or the marriage market.

While many schools moved to virtual classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic, families did not have the resources to adapt to this learning environment. Rising fuel prices combined with the declining Lebanese lira forced families to prioritize other expenses over education. The proportion of students attending school in Lebanon has fallen from 60% this year to 43% he said. About 30,000 children dropped out of school in Lebanon in the 2021-2022 school year. UNICEF reports that 1 in 10 Lebanese children are replaced by her. Child marriage is also a major reason for dropout, with one-fifth of Syrian girls in Lebanon between the ages of 15 and her 19 and 4 percent of Lebanese girls in her age group married. (actual figures may be higher than official reports indicate). Most of the jobs taken on by former Lebanese students are low-paid, irregular and informal, but for many families this work is necessary to survive the economic crisis. One in ten is employed instead of attending school, and most of this work is low-paid and informal.

Even if they attend school, strikes by educators can leave children in unsupervised classrooms. Two years ago, the average monthly salary for a non-tenured public school teacher in Lebanon was US$1,600, but now she earns only US$90 due to depreciation. Combined with rising fuel prices, this salary is not enough to cover the transportation costs of many teachers, especially in rural areas where cars are of particular importance. Advocating for better health insurance and transportation to specifically address the problem. Teacher insecurity is exacerbated by the proportion of teachers on temporary contracts, as many teachers are considered temporary and may be fired without retirement benefits or social security. Despite government efforts to reimburse travel and reimburse wages, there is little prospect of change among teachers, with many applying for other jobs or attempting to emigrate. , further underscoring an already strained education system.

In early February, the Ministry of Education held a meeting with politicians, ambassadors, academics and international representatives to discuss solutions for the education system, especially in light of the ongoing teacher strikes. In essence, governments limit the funding and ability to solve ongoing education problems. Education Minister Abbas Al-Halabi urged teachers to be patient with the government and ask for cooperation on behalf of public school students.

Given the limited government resources, non-profits and NGOs in the region have played a key role in overcoming educational inequalities. For example, 26 Letters offers a curriculum that includes ethics, history, geography, and science in her one-on-one classes in English. Some students go to 26 Letters after school for remedial or educational purposes. However, while these organizations play an important role in educating students, they have not addressed the underlying problem of low school enrollment.

The economic situation in Lebanon is putting extreme stress on the education system. Many children choose a path other than education, such as finding a job or getting married. Teachers are overworked and underpaid, leaving many teachers out of work. These problems are rooted in depreciating currencies, rising fuel prices, and an overall economic decline. When the economic situation takes precedence, the quality of education inevitably declines. This leads to a vicious circle of economic stagnation and declining investment in education. Government agencies may not be in a position to invest in a failing education system, but nonprofits and non-profit organizations continue to play an important role in providing additional educational resources.



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