Free Schools in Lebanon Threatened by the Law on Salaries

July 26, 2018

The patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church met with the representatives of certain political groups to show them the dangers the new law on government employee salaries presents for Catholic schools.

In 2017, the Lebanese Parliament adopted a law increasing government employee salaries; the new text is supposed to apply to private Catholic schools in the country as well, causing the price of tuition to rise so much that many families cannot afford it.

Patriarch Bechara Rai met with the political leaders on July 5, 2018, in Bkerke, and invited “all parties, particularly the government, to face their responsibilities with regards to the danger of schools being closed and the negative repercussions on parents, students, teachers, and employees.”

After this meeting, Ibrahim Kanaan, deputy for the Aounist party “Strong Lebanon Bloc”, voiced his agreement with Cardinal Rai, hoping “for a solution to the problem of private schools and tuition fees,” and asking the government to cover the salary increase for professors in private schools.

On July 4, 2018, the Maronite bishops met to ask the government to shoulder its responsibilities: “How many students will be forced to leave the school benches behind because their parents cannot pay the tuition fees?” they exclaimed.