• Tyre

  • Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 6:12:45 AM
    Last Update : Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 6:12 AM

Schools in Southern Lebanon Face Closures Due to Border Escalations with Israel

(AWP) - Border tensions and clashes have prevented many students from going to school amidst repeated Israeli shelling of towns and villages in southern Lebanon, forcing the Ministry of Education to find alternatives for displaced students.

The ministry has turned to distance learning and establishing emergency response schools to meet the growing needs of students whose educational development is threatened by the ongoing crisis.

Caretaker Minister of Education and Higher Education, Abbas Halabi, visited a school in Tyre to follow up with the implementation of distance learning and in-person education programmes for students who were enrolled in government schools and institutions following their forceable displacement.

Halabi told AWP that the Lebanese authorities are doing their utmost under current conditions to train teaching staff to cope with remote learning, both logistically and professionally.

Halabi said, “In light of the current security conditions, we have identified the situation of our students, emphasising the importance of carrying out the census and its implementation. We now know the location of every student, whether they were displaced and can be enrolled in a school, those who joined the crisis response schools, and some who are staying in their homes whom we have begun to educate remotely.”

He added, “On this basis, we’ve provided them with tablets, and the teachers with laptops. We’re training those who need it. This is the most we can do under the current conditions, and if the security situation deteriorates further, we’ll adjust accordingly.”

During his visit, Halabi met with teachers, who affirmed their commitment to fulfilling their duties despite their current lack of experience in remote learning methods.

Hussein Jawad, President of the League of Public School Teachers, said, “We are always ready to fulfil our educational duty towards our students, but in the case of distance education, teachers need training, as not all of them are qualified to do this task.”

He added, “We await the completion of the step taken by the Minister of Education today, distributing laptops to teachers, and quickly organising a training course on remote learning.”

Teachers renewed their calls for improved salaries and the monthly disbursement of performance allowances that were agreed upon with the ministry, which they say will help halt the recurrent public teachers’ strikes.

Jawad said, “Teachers always need a salary sufficient to carry out their role and to be comfortable at work. We have demands related to salaries and their guarantee, as well as productivity allowances, which the ministry undertook to pay on the 20th of each month.”

He concluded, “We need to start now. We have already met with His Excellency the Minister and discussed the matter. It is necessary to establish a new series of ranks and salaries. There will be no final resolution to the issue of teachers’ salaries without this.”