| 28 September 2023, Thursday |

Lebanon’s private schools violate the law, impose fees in dollars

Many families in Lebanon are looking to transfer their children from high-end private schools to other schools that are less expensive. The anticipated shift comes after private school administrations nationwide having informed parents they will be raising tuition nine folds.


Administrations justified the astronomical hike by saying they had to raise the salaries of teachers and secure school operating expenses. Schools are trying to survive a great economic and financial crisis that has been sweeping the Levantine country for three years now.


“We used to pay an amount of 8 million and 250,000 pounds per child, and today they are asking us to pay 20 million pounds and $1,500, or about 71 million pounds,” a young mother, who preferred remaining anonymous, told Asharq Al-Awsat.


“I would understand an increase of 10, 20, or even 30 million per student, but for the increase to be this big is something I can’t comprehend,” she added.


Lebanese laws prohibit pricing school tuition in dollars. The law requires that the school budget be presented in the national currency.


However, in a clear violation of the laws, many educational and other institutions are deliberately pricing in dollars on the pretext that they will not be able to continue if they stick to pricing in pounds as a result of the continuous jumps in the exchange rate.


Exchange rates for the Lebanese pound had touched 34,000 to the dollar.


Since the middle of last year, most schools have informed parents that they are going to impose specific dollar payments in the next academic year.


More than three months ago, schools distributed circulars of the new installments, which were divided between amounts that administrations would receive in US dollars and amounts in Lebanese pounds.


The Minister of Education in the caretaker government, Abbas Al-Halabi, on Wednesday announced approval for establishing a fund to cover the operational costs of private schools.


Halabi said that the ministry rejects allowing any school to suspend any of its students over the parents’ inability to pay tuition in US dollars.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat