Schools In Lebanon Open Despite Lockdown And Surge In COVID-19 Infections

AFP

Despite the unprecedented increase in cases nationwide, several schools across the country opened to receive their students this week. 

The schools are reportedly applying preventative measures, such as sanitizing, wearing masks, and distancing the students’ desks in classrooms.

Caretaker Education Minister Tarek Majzoub had declared that the academic year would start as of Monday, October 12th, in a mix of both online and in-class classes.

Struggling with poor wifi connection and electricity cuts, many teachers, including students, agreed that online classes were not effective (in Lebanon). They decided it was best to open school doors while implementing needed preventative measures. 

Other schools, however, are still on the fence about opening amid the alarmingly high rise in coronavirus infections. They are continuing with online learning for now.

The Education Minister’s decision to open the schools comes as 169 towns across the country, as well as all pubs and nightclubs, are on lockdown for a whole week, based on the Interior Ministry’s decision.

Last week, 111 Lebanese towns were ordered to lock down, and that number soon rose to 169 while Lebanon has surpassed 50,000 coronavirus cases.

Strangely enough, the education ministry did not allow for schools to reopen back when the spread of the coronavirus was contained and the cases were still under control.

Naturally, the controversial new decision to open schools at this critical time has triggered a lot of criticism from the public, calling it a “disaster” and an “imminent catastrophe.”

Opening the schools at this time seemed to have come from ongoing concerns about Lebanon’s students getting affected in their education. The 2019-2020 school year was rough due to both the protests and the pandemic.

Get the latest news and updates about the coronavirus outbreak in Lebanon along with a live monitor of cases in Lebanon as well as resources and information to help you guide the outbreak on our dedicated coronavirus page.

*Images used for illustrative purpose only.