UNICEF welcomes school reopening and reaffirms commitment to strengthen public schools in Lebanon
Urgent reforms are needed to stop further disruption to learning
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Beirut, 13 March 2023 – Today, after two months of school closures, more than 450,000 children are back to school and learning.
With the international community, UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to ensure children, teachers and schools have what they need to return to in-person teaching and learning. Last week, UNICEF disbursed USD13.7 million to 1074 public schools – including 342 afternoon shift - for vital contributions to School Funds and Parent Council Funds; initiated the first payment of the productivity allowance for 13,160 special contracted teachers and administrative staff; and issued the salaries of special contracted teachers.
More investment targeting the most vulnerable children to access inclusive and quality education is essential given it has been stalled for the last four years. Retaining and getting more students in school, mainly the 700,000 out-of-school children, requires predictable multi-year investment from the Government of Lebanon.
However, challenges in the education sector will not be addressed solely by increasing funding. Reforms and national policies that improve the equity, efficiency and effectiveness of overall education spending in Lebanon are also highly needed.
If Lebanon is committed to having a public education system which allows all children and the country to leapfrog to a brighter future, all sections of society need to align on a shared purpose. All stakeholders in Lebanon need to be prepared to prioritize education now.
Lebanon’s children and the country cannot afford school closures.
Listen to children’s voices expressing the power of education and hope for a brighter future:
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org/lebanon/.
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