BEIRUT — The public school year kicked off in Lebanon on Monday in the absence of basic working conditions and while teachers are overburdened by their salaries’ depreciation, L'Orient Today's correspondent in South Lebanon reported.
The director of a public middle school in Abra, South Lebanon, Antoine Samia, told L'Orient Today that "a large number of [teachers] have left after finding better job opportunities while others traveled outside the country with their families."
"We do not know how things will go during the school year, but we will do our duty as much as possible and with our capabilities for the students' sake," Samia added.
For teachers, the impact of the crisis has been dramatic; their salaries have been rendered largely worthless since the national currency began to collapse in 2019. Despite the financial compensation that some teachers have received, the low salaries no longer cover their basic expenses.
According to a study published by the Centre for Lebanese Studies at the Lebanese American University, "the average teacher's monthly income is $131, while their monthly commute costs $128, leaving them with $3 to live on for the entire month.”
Amani Hasna, Saida Elementary Mixed School's principal said on Monday: "Just like the previous year, we lack many things — electricity, heating, teachers and stationery — but we will try our best to do what we have to do."
Meanwhile, one parent, who drives his two sons to school on his motorcycle, told L'Orient Today that it's like he's sending his children to the "unknown."
"We don’t know what will happen. My capabilities are minimal. I wish I was able to put my children in private schools, or emigrate from this country," he added.
(Reporting contributed by Muntasser Abdallah)