Kids still can’t get into school in Lebanon

By December 25, 2023

Lebanon (MNN) — Some children are currently on Christmas break. In Lebanon, kids have been out of school for an entirely different and more concerning reason – the schools may have never opened at all.

Depending on the specific institution, some schools in Lebanon closed months or even years ago. Public schools struggled to stay open thanks to Lebanon’s sputtering economy and strikes from teachers demanding fair wages. Private schools charge tuition costs that are devastatingly expensive for the average family. Affordable non-public education options can’t provide the same level of certification for graduates.

In short, the financial crisis has eliminated most education options for kids living in Lebanon. In the words of Nuna from Triumphant Mercy Lebanon, “In the whole process, the kids are left alone. Kids are not being educated, and they’re losing years of their lives.”

Lebanon’s financial troubles are quickly becoming cyclical. Lack of resources makes problems worse, leading to a further lack of resources, and so the storm spirals. The same is true for education; fewer students going to school means the schools can’t justify the resources to bring in more students. Private school tuition continues to climb as schools try to get the money they need to keep the lights on from the few students they do have – but when tuition costs climb, current students can’t keep paying.

The available funding is tied to specific kids from people groups. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has provided funds specifically designated for the education of Syrian refugee children. Meanwhile, the Lebanese government pays for school for Lebanese students.

On a day-to-day basis, that means that Syrian refugee children – and only refugee children – can attend morning classes. Then, Lebanese children join them in the afternoon for the rest of the day. However, the Lebanese curriculums are more intensively monitored. That means Lebanese children are getting higher quality education, but Syrian children are getting more hours of education per day. These divisions exacerbate personal and political tensions that already exist and have led some locals and leaders to demand that schools shut down entirely rather than split up students.

While Triumphant Mercy Lebanon doesn’t have a registered education program, they can help provide some bolsters to keep kids learning. They’re not just teaching math and science; they’re teaching kids about Jesus. “We have so seen so many kids that are under trauma, and we try to just bring the Gospel in their lives so that they can trust God and see that God is actually moving in their lives,” Nuna says.”The gospel is in every classroom with every teacher, with every program, and with everything we do.”

If you want to support these programs, you can do so right here. “We prepare the whole program towards just bringing the Gospel and understanding who Jesus is,” Nuna says. “The name of Jesus is unknown to them, why they need salvation is unknown to them. Even in their religious background, there is no need for a Savior. There is no need for atonement. So to get this concept through, it takes a while.”

If you don’t want to give, pray. “Trust that God has a plan for all these people. He has a plan of salvation, and we’re just part of it. We do whatever we can, but we need to see God moving. So just pray that God will open eyes and will give us strength to continue.”



Header photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Help us get the word out: