Minister of Education Abbas Al Halabi along with Minister of Finance Youssef Khalil signed an agreement to double the wage-hours contract for teachers contracted in public schools, secondary schools, and technical institutes.
The new decisions mean that hourly wages will be increased by 100%, in accordance with the previously established schedules.
Public school teachers are paid in Lebanese Lira, which has lost an estimated 90% of its value. making a teachers’ salary now worth between $1 and $2 an hour.
This has resulted in frequent teacher strikes, many seeking jobs abroad, and many having to get a second job to survive.
The new agreement to raise the hourly wage applies for the academic year of 2021-2022 with the approval of the Civil Service Board.
Norma Khafaji, a school teacher in Lebanon, told 961News: “The situation is so unjust on teachers and it’s truly devastating because the wages are very low and paid in Lebanese Lira which does not do us much nowadays with all the other expenses in this country.”
Gasoline prices have been steadily increasing in recent months as the country has moved to end fuel subsidies. This is another main obstacle that teachers in the public sector are facing.
“I’m having to use the school’s van to get to work but not all teachers have this option, so I assume their wage goes on fuel,” Khafaji added.
Lebanon’s educational sector, prized throughout the Middle East as a regional leader, was once ranked 10th globally by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.
Now, with the utmost financial crisis, it is unclear how schools will manage throughout this academic year when the currency is still collapsing against the dollar.