Education Crisis In Lebanon

Lebanon’s economic crisis is devastating a generation’s access to education.

As household debt has spiralled, the costs involved with attending school have become impossible to afford, severing countless children from their right to learn.

Private schools comprise 70% of Lebanon’s educational sector. However, the contraction of the economy coupled with skyrocketing poverty has caused parents to shift their children to public schools, piling further pressure on an already strained public sector.

According to a report by The World Bank, in the 2020-21 school year alone, roughly 55,000 children moved from private to public schools due to the financial pressure suffered by families.

There are concerns that dropout rates will continue to rise due to the country’s deepening economic crisis. It is not just tuition fees that are unaffordable - so too are books, stationery and transportation. This is forcing some families to reduce spending on education to afford basic essentials, while other families have removed children from school completely. 

The widening education gap has sparked a major rise in exploitation, none more so than child labour. 30% of children have stopped their education altogether to earn money, while in some parts of the country, child labour has risen by a staggering 45%. 

For Syrian refugee children, these pressures are even more unbearable. 90% of Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in extreme poverty, making affording education next to impossible. As a result, less than 1% of Syrian children pass grade 9.

Another reason for this is the resident/passport requirement for non-Lebanese children. Most Syrian families cannot afford the cost or risks of documenting their children - an additional layer of difficulty that prevents Syrians from obtaining a quality and inclusive education.

This urgently needs to change. Education is a right, not a privilege, and all children deserve an equal chance to learn, grow and fulfil their potential.

Through our Education Programme, we provide quality education to refugee children in Lebanon. 474 children have been enrolled in our school in the Bekaa Valley, and 39 teachers have been hired, all of whom from the refugee community.

As well as helping teachers to become financially independent, the project expands students’ knowledge of core subjects, helping them to escape poverty and support themselves and their families.