In recent years, families in Lebanon have been buffeted by unprecedented challenges, due to the economic crisis, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, political deadlock, and the devastating explosions that shook Beirut. People of all backgrounds have been driven into deep poverty, and now find themselves unable to afford basic necessities, such as food and medicine.
These complex and interconnected issues are impacting every aspect of families’ lives – and jeopardizing children’s education and futures. Over the last two years, obstacles preventing children from accessing a quality education have been compounded - and many more have emerged. With insufficient access to inclusive distance learning tools, students have been out of meaningful learning for almost two academic years.
The situation is now at a tipping point: urgent action must be taken to ensure that all children in Lebanon can safely return to school and have opportunities to learn.
This paper seeks to summarize the barriers faced by students trying to access a quality education at this unprecedented time and the impact this has had on their learning and well-being. It also sets out the key recommendations by education partners to ensure that children can safely return to the classroom, and that those who are not currently in formal education can access flexible, community-based learning opportunities until they can transition back to the formal education system.
Education is a fundamental right for every child. It’s crucial for their learning, social inclusion and development and helps to protect them from poverty, violence, exploitation and abuse. This right does not end in times of crisis.