Lebanese education crisis: Catholic schools in Lebanon surprise parents with tuition hikes mid-year

News Bulletin Reports
2024-02-04 | 12:04
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Lebanese education crisis: Catholic schools in Lebanon surprise parents with tuition hikes mid-year
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Lebanese education crisis: Catholic schools in Lebanon surprise parents with tuition hikes mid-year

Report by Lara El Hashem, English adaptation by Yasmine Jaroudi
 
In an unexpected move midway through the academic year, some Catholic schools in Lebanon surprised parents with increased fees per student, ranging from LBP 4 to 5 million. 

According to memorandums received by parents, these hikes were justified by a series of increases in:

-         Daily transportation allowances for teachers and staff.

-         Rising costs of purchases.

-         Increased amounts owed to the social security fund.

The surprise in the fee hikes came through one school specifying a sum of LBP 900,000 for the teachers' compensation fund as one of the justifications for the 5 million increase. 

This amount was supposed to be paid by non-free private schools from the schools' profits, not as an addition to tuition fees. Based on this agreement, private-sector teachers ended their strike.

Where does the Code of Honor, signed between educational institutions and their unions, including the teachers' union, stand now? What about the apparent deviation from it?

Teachers argue that schools are using the 900,000 increase as a pretext to impose additional fees on parents. The surprise lies in the fact that the parent committees in some schools reported these increases, which are supposed to represent the voice of parents, not the administration.

The schools that reported these increases are currently few, but there is concern that the situation might escalate to more schools. 

Will the Education Ministry intervene to correct what was agreed upon under its supervision, or will parents, each time, find themselves as the weakest link in the chain?

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