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Lebanese children 'miss out' on education as crisis takes toll

School teachers lift placards during a sit-in outside Lebanon's parliament protesting poor pay at public schools
— Beirut (AFP)

Rana Hariri doesn't know when she'll be able to send her children back to school, as Lebanon's grinding economic crisis thrusts the fate of public education into uncertainty.

Lack of funding for the school system has precipitated repeated teachers' strikes and school closures, resulting in children being increasingly pulled out of the formal learning system, and in some cases being forced to work.

Hariri, 51, says her nine-year-old daughter Aya "repeatedly asks me: 'When will I go back to school?' But I do not know what to tell her."

Lebanon's public institutions have been crumbling since the economy collapsed in late 2019, pushing most of the population into poverty and dealing a heavy blow to state schools.

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