American University of Beirut

Open Dialogue on Lebanon’s Education Sector

Education and Youth Policy Program, February 2020


​The education sector in Lebanon enr​ols about one million students, out of whom almost 70 % attend private schools. The education sector in the country has expanded to reach a high primary enrolment rate .However, this sector still faces many challenges among which are the shortage of teachers, high number of student drop-outs, a weak vocational education system, and high percentage of youth unemployment. The deterioration of the economic and financial situation in Lebanon today has taken its toll on the education sector. It is reported that many families have already started to transfer their children from private to public schools, and a number of private schools have been forced to shut down.

In response to the October uprising and its impact on the Lebanese education sector, a policy dialogue was convened at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at AUB on December 3, 2019 to address some of the most pressing issues within the sector. This open dialogue convened key stakeholders working in the education sector in Lebanon. The discussion addressed some of the pending issues as well as emerging issues pertaining to the recent events that took over the country. A number of suggested actions were proposed that present a path for the development of the education sector in Lebanon. The discussion put forth an immediate response and a long-term approach to the issues addressed in relation to equity, quality education, access, financing across the sub-sectors. 
It is important to note that this report presents an overview of the issues discussed in the dialogue by addressing key policy implications. The issues tackled are in no way comprehensive, and critical in-depth follow-up dialogues on specific issues is important.

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