Ever since Covid-19 globally disrupted the ways of living, the world took a major step forward toward virtuality in what concerns work, communication, and education.
That has been particularly enforced in the education sector in order to protect the masses of youth from the deadly virus.
In Lebanon, the situation has been different, and more complicated. The long-untackled crises that have brought the country to its collapsing status-quo have particularly hit the education system, unsettling the lives of the students in Lebanon.
Caught in between the pandemic and the crises, the students have found themselves in turmoil as they struggle to continue their education to secure themselves a better future.
With the scarce availability of electricity, which also impacts their internet connection, the students deal with the frustrating challenge of virtual classes.
On the other side, the crisis of fuel along with its skyrocketing price at the now-lifted subsidies is about to make commuting to their universities impossible to many.
Adding to that, the dollarization of tuition fees, based on the 3,900 LBP/USD rate, has more than doubled the cost of their education while the income of their providing parents is precariously based on the 1,515 LBP/USD rate.
Universities are also struggling to adapt to both the crises and the pandemic to continue providing the needed education to the youth in Lebanon.
Suggestions lie between purely shifting to online classes as a strategic movement to save the academic year, and the hybridization of classes, which is the strategy most universities are planning on doing.
Universities in Lebanon are also being highly challenged by the crises.
The decision of some universities to dollarize the tuitions was painfully necessary, even inevitable, in order for them to minimize the losses and maintain a high level of education.
Having accreditations to maintain, and eager to save their students’ future against all odds, they’re putting all possible efforts, under the raging storm, to secure a balance between their challenges and the ones of the students.
Some are increasing their financial aid for the upcoming year and launching tuition fee assistance programs for all the students with proven financial need, as in the case of Notre-Dame University (NDU).
In order to deal with the pandemic hazards on their students, NDU, for instance, is offering to provide vaccination on campus to all current students, new and graduating.
However, such a decision depends on the approval and support of the concerned ministries.
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