Beirut Blast Damaged 163 Schools, Leaving 1 In 4 Children Missing Out On Education

Beirut Blast Damaged 163 Schools, Leaving 1 In 4 Children Missing Out On Education
Wael Hamzeh/EPA

Among the buildings that the Beirut Port explosion damaged are over 150 schools. This is one of several factors that are threatening a bumpy or non-existent school year for many students in Lebanon.

According to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) NGO, around a quarter of the school-age children in Beirut is at risk of missing out on the upcoming school year.

“With 163 schools damaged by the , at least 1 in 4 children in the city are now at risk of missing out on their education,” the IRC said in a statement.

The NGO’s estimates reveal that over 85,000 pupils were registered at the damaged schools, the most severely-damaged of which will take up to a year to be repaired.

However, as the statement pointed out, the explosion is not the only obstacle standing in the way of children receiving their education this year.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a serious negative impact on the flow of education in the country and even caused the start of the 2020-2021 school year to be delayed until mid-October when it should’ve been active by now.

In addition, the economic crisis has presented a major challenge for numerous families who are now struggling to cope with the soaring costs of stationery and transportation, aside from the fees, while struggling with inflation and unemployment.

A more dire side of the crisis sees many children sent to work by their parents in a desperate attempt to secure enough income to sustain their family as the prices of basic commodities and food items rise with the fall of the Lebanese pound.

“Overall, we are expecting to see far fewer children enrolled in schools this September and a high drop-out rate as the year progresses,” said the IRC’s acting Lebanon director, Mohammad Nasser.

Needless to point out that the children of Lebanon are the most affected by the overall critical situation in the country. That harsh reality has brought Lebanon to be recently ranked the second-worst place in the world to raise kids.

The collapse of the country is as real politically as it is economically.

The vacuum that followed the resignation of Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib preceded a notable drop in the value of the Lebanese pound against the US dollar in the black market, making people’s lives more insufferable.