BEIRUT — The Progressive Socialist Party of the Druze leader Walid Joumblatt called on Monday for a cabinet meeting dedicated to education, PSP MP Akram Chehayeb said during a press conference.
Two sessions of the cabinet, which has been operating in a caretaker capacity since it assumed that status following parliamentary elections in May, have been held since the end of former President Michel Aoun's mandate on Oct. 31. Both sessions, which dealt with urgent matters such as electricity, were boycotted by ministers close to the Free Patriotic Movement.
"The responsibility to protect public education is national," Chehayeb said on Monday, adding that solutions "must come from the ministry" of education, headed by Abbas Halabi, who is reputed to be close to Joumblatt, before being studied by the cabinet "to give the teachers what could support them."
"If it then requires a parliament meeting, so be it," he added, on the eve of International Education Day.
"Why is this government wasting the last few dollars in reserve to throw into the gaping hole of the electricity sector and neglecting the importance of funding the education sector," MP Chehayeb said. "We call on the government, political groups and donor countries to do their duty quickly to protect public and university education," he added.
In early January, Joumblatt criticized the Lebanese leadership's wait-and-see attitude toward the political crisis and accused the "big [political] forces" of preventing "any ministerial meeting to deal with the people's affairs."