SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 3 August 2021, Tuesday |

Education Minister bargaining teachers on $10, will exams be canceled or postponed?

Secondary school students are experiencing a horrible fate this year amid the stifling conditions the country is going through. Of course, students in public secondary schools are struggling more than their colleagues in private schools because they were unable to receive the education that would entitle them to perform the official exams and obtain the certificate.

Journalist and writer Walid Hussein told “Sawt Beirut International” reporter Mahasen Morsel about the pros and cons of the debate over whether to move forward with the official exams or to cancel it this year.

Hussein said: “The secondary certificate is different from the intermediate certificate, and it is supposed to take place, but the question is, are there the required elements for doing it? There are around 3,000 students who want to travel or obtain scholarships. That’s why they have to obtain an official certificate, but at the same time there are no elements to take exams.”

He added that “if the Minister of Education decides to resort to private school teachers to do the exams only for some private schools that have been able to teach their students, this will impact the sector negatively.”

Hussein added: “Unfortunately, today there is large debate between the associations and unions who refuse doing the exams and between the minister who insists on holding it, given that 60 schools in Lebanon were able to maintain education.” He said that around 25 to 30 percent only of students in public school will succeed if fair and transparent exams take place.

The Central Inspection indicated that there isn’t equality between students and between private and official teachers. This situation allows students to file appeals before the State Shura Council, hence the time has come for the exams to be cancelled.

Hussein expected that there would be an escalation in the coming days in refusal of the official exams, and said, “If the Minister of Education is able to meet his promise by paying $10 for teachers on every monitoring day, and if he is able to secure the funding card for the teachers, some teachers will be encouraged to undergo the exams, but it seems that this will not happen.”

Hussein said that “it was necessary to think about two types of exams, even though it costs more, which is that students who are ready to do the exams are given a first course and that a kind of completion is held for the majority, even private school students, and it is better if the exams were held in September, not now.” He concluded, “According to the data available so far, the exams will not take place.”

The collapse of the educational sector is almost a foregone conclusion, as teachers are unable to reach schools amid the insane rise in fuel prices, especially that they have lost 100 percent of the value of their salaries. This will increase school dropout rates exponentially compared to previous years.