Classrooms are expected to re-open on September 27, Lebanon’s education minister Tarek al-Majzoub told in a press conference on Monday. The decision covers both private and public schools as well as technical learning centers. All are scheduled to re-open by October 4 at the latest, he added.
Lebanese students will start to attend regular classes as of September, the country’s Minister of Education and Higher Education announced on Monday, after doubts of an accelerating economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic preventing schools from reopening.
Rights groups have decried an “education catastrophe” in the country, with more than a million children in Lebanon’s schools being left at home as schools were shut since the country’s COVID-19 outbreak began in February last year.
Other students are at risk of never seeing school again, the groups have warned, due to a financial downturn that has seen poverty rates soar to 78 percent of the population.
Lebanon had moved to distanced learning in March last year due to the pandemic, with intermittent returns to the classroom for some students. However, power cuts, internet outages and the country’s economic crisis have made online instruction a luxury, as families struggle to afford food, let alone electronic devices for learning.
Schools have threatened to shut because of extortionate operating costs amid massive inflation.
In an attempt to ease their burden, al-Majzoub said public schools would open to in-person attendance four days a week, with students taking classes online for the fifth day. On the other hand, he added that private schools would be free to determine their own operating schedule.
Al-Majzoub expressed that the education ministry “is coordinating with relevant authorities and donor countries to settle outstanding financial and economic issues.”