Classes in Lebanon will be suspended for a week, caretaker Education Minister Tarek Al-Majzoub said on Friday, announcing in a press release “the suspension of teaching altogether for a week as a first step.”
Justifying the decision, he said that the education sector currently faces two options, “either to secure the elements for a safe return or to completely stop general and technical education in the public and private sectors.”
“We demanded financial support for parents and students and support for schools so that teachers could get their salaries, but unfortunately, all requests were met with recklessness because, in Lebanon, education is not a priority,” he said in bitter criticism.
The official went on to complain that the Education Ministry had not received help to implement a mixed (physical/remote) education program, “and we ask, ‘what do they want?'”
He also criticized Lebanon Central Bank‘s lack of action regarding the salaries of unpaid contractors.
“Our plan is ready in the ministry to complete the school year, but this matter requires a safe return in order for there to be a balance between the health and educational conditions,” Al-Majzoub stressed.
He warned that the education sector is at risk of collapse as long as it continues to lack the attention and priority it requires, in terms of funding and school-reopening in alignment with safety measures.
According to the Minister, three current primary requirements of this sectors are:
The application of the prevention measures stipulated in the health protocol
Intensive and periodic examinations to detect any person infected with the virus
Securing immunization by vaccinating all workers in the education sector
With that said, Al-Majzoub issued a call for the provision of the required measures that would allow the safe and gradual reopening of schools, starting March 22nd for classes that have official exams this year.