| 15 April 2024, Monday |

President Aoun discusses UNIFEL mandate extension and border demarcation with caretaker minister Bou Habib, tackles courts’s work and status of judges with caretaker justice minister

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, followed up on the general situation in the country and life issues.

 Minister Bou Habib:

The President met Foreign Affairs Minister, Abdullah Bou Habib and discussed with him a number of issues related to the recent international developments and the issue of the extension of the international forces operating in the south.  


Lebanon’s position on the topics on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly in its regular session, which begins in a few days was also deliberated, in addition to the file of the displaced Syrians and the contacts made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard.


Minister Khoury:

President Aoun received Justice Minister, Judge Henry Khoury, and discussed with him the work of the courts and the conditions of judges, in addition to issues related to the functioning of the Ministry of Justice.


Former Minister Kordahi:

President Aoun met former Minister, Engineer Jean-Louis Kordahi, and discussed with him general affairs and the latest political developments.  


During the meeting, former Minister Qardahithanked the President for his support for the decision recently issued by the Minister of Education to amend the name of Victor Ghosh High School in Byblos to become For the decision recently issued by the Minister of Education and Higher Education to amend the name of Victor Ghosh Official High School in Byblos to become “Ms. Mona Adwan Qardahi Official High School,” the mother of former Minister Qardahi, who endowed the property on which the secondary school was built, which has an area of ​​six thousand square meters, and completed the typical design of the high school.  


The engineer, Louis Qardahi, started the implementation at his own expense, and completed it to become the most important educational complex in the Jbeil district.


Former Akar:

President Aoun received the former Deputy Premier and National Defense Minister,, Mrs. Zeina Akar.


Akar discussed the general situation in the country, and presented to President Aoun the book she prepared on the Lebanese Parliament elections 2022, figures and statistics issued by the International Information Corporation.  


For his part, President Aoun commended the efforts made to complete the book and the information and figures it contained.


The Secretary General of Catholic Schools, Father Youssef Nasr:

The President received the Secretary-General of Catholic Schools, Father Youssef Nasr and Sister Basima Al-Khoury from the General Secretariat.

The educational situation and the conditions of educational institutions in general and Catholic schools in particular were addressed.


Father Nasr briefed President Aoun on the strategy of Catholic schools in facing the economic and financial crisis in order to preserve the message of education and education in Lebanon, especially after three years of the crisis in which educational institutions have exhausted all their saved stocks and banks have refrained from liquidating the institutions’ funds and the people’s funds placed with them.  


Father Nasr also pointed out that this strategy is based on the establishment of a “dollar support fund” to be financed by parents and from external and internal aid “in order to supplement the legal teacher’s salary with social assistance with fresh dollars, ranging between one hundred and three hundred dollars per month, according to the ability of the parents and the school, and then cover the school’s need for diesel to operate electricity generator and heating in the winter season, and this policy is accompanied by the activation of social policies in every school so that the solution is not at the expense of the poor and marginalized class, and it is a policy from the core of the Church’s social mission to open its doors to all parents without any discrimination or preference.  


“This constitutes the reason for the existence of the Catholic school in Lebanon” Father Nasr said, explaining that the Catholic schools will hold their 28th conference on 1 and 7 September at the Saint Elias School for the Antonine Nuns in Ghazir, under the patronage of the Maronite Patriarch, Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi, under the title “Governance in the Catholic School from the Perspective of Social Dynamics.” 


Moreover, Father Nasr called for the adoption of a modern and advanced educational system that simulates the developments of the digital and technological world, considering that the current educational curricula were approved in 1994 and entered into force in 1997 and have become outdated.  


He added: “Since the immediate goal is to complete the work of the reference framework document to be officially issued by the ministry or the cabinet, I suggest activating the drafting committee while continuing to freeze all other committees, provided that its composition is reconsidered to include academics specialized in curriculum engineering and industry. So that the new formula ensures the existing balance in the country and relaxes the parties.  As for the second proposal, it is based on the re-formation of all committees away from direct political interference in the educational issue, in a manner that preserves the existing balance in the country and comforts all parties, provided that a committee formed by His Excellency the Minister headed by the President of the Educational Center with the participation of Professor Munir Abu Asali and other persons assigned by His Excellency, especially for this  the mission”.


Father Nasr then discussed what he described as “the dilemma of a free school that existed to serve the poorest class, but today finds itself abandoned by the Lebanese state,” suggesting that the state pay its contributions to it for the years from 2017 to 2022, which do not exceed five hundred billion Lebanese pounds for each  previous period, or the equivalent of 15 million on the current dollar exchange rate, and for the Minister of Education to issue an exceptional decision under exceptional circumstances, allowing the free private school to charge the student the amount of five million pounds for the academic year 2022-2023 in addition to the cost of the fuel plate and insurance  Medicine and stationery are in dollars, not exceeding 50 US dollars.


For his part, President Aoun stressed the difficult economic conditions the country is going through, which is reflected in all sectors, including the educational sector and schools in general.  

“It is necessary to maintain the educational level with the economic and financial conditions of the students’ families” President Aoun said.  


In addition, the President considered that all school administrations in Lebanon are called upon to approach the educational situation with a perspective that takes into account that education is a sacred right for everyone to provide to students in parallel with not overburdening their families, especially those who face difficult economic and financial conditions due to the mortgage conditions in the country and the high price of the dollar compared to the Lebanese pound.


The delegation of the Mutual Fund for the veterans of the Freer Schools in Lebanon:


President Aoun received a delegation from the “Mutual Fund for the Former of the Freer Schools in Lebanon (MAEF), headed by Mr. Richard Dayeh.


Mr. Dayeh presented the measures adopted by the Fund to help the students of the Freer Schools in Lebanon to stay in their schools and not move to other schools, and to financially support their families. 

To achieve this, Mr. Dayh asked President Aoun, as a veteran of the “Freer School” and an honorary member of the Fund, to support this solidarity step.


During the meeting, Brother Emile Akiki spoke, thanked President Aoun for his positions in support of education and the school in Lebanon, especially by signing Law No. 46, “without which the reality of education in Lebanon would have been in a more difficult situation than it is now.”  


Akiki also wished the President to instruct those who are obligated to implement the provisions of the aforementioned law in terms of disbursing an amount of 350 billion to private schools to help them face the current difficult circumstances so that they can complete their educational and social mission at the same time.  Brother Akiki recalled President Aoun’s visit to the “Freer” School in Beirut on the occasion of the celebration that was held at the time, marking the 125th anniversary of its establishment.


For his part, President Aoun praised what the Mutual Fund offers to the veterans of the “Freer” schools in Lebanon, explaining to the delegation members the delicate circumstances the country is going through, stressing that he will continue to work to alleviate as much as possible the suffering experienced by the Lebanese in these days.


The delegation included Messrs.: Georges Sloughi, Roger Sayegh, Nadim Abdo, Issam Karam, Maroun Akiki, Nabil Nassour, Ziad Melhem, Jean Nakouzi, Khaled Shabat, Charles Ghafry, Brother Jame Claude Abu Atmeh, Elie Dayeh.

  • NNA