Installments are unchanged despite the decline in operating expenses


The new school year, which is scheduled to officially start on January 28, brings with it the tails of clashes between the owners of private schools and the families of students in installments of the last academic year. Consideration of objections to school budgets has not been resolved, despite the appointment of accounting experts to audit them, and educational arbitration councils to settle disputes have not been formed, while students are taken as “pawns” to collect installments without reaching a settlement that specifies a certain percentage to reduce it.With the beginning of this year, the administrations “heralded” the parents that the value of the installments would remain the same as they were in the last school year, or with “slight” increases, perhaps “sensitizing” them to the severe economic crisis! However, it did not take into account that there are expenditures that are no longer present in the budgets of schools with the adoption of distance education or blended education (combining urban and e-learning). Among these expenditures, for example, electricity, insurances, repairs … etc, in addition to the absence of transportation allowances, overtime and bonuses for teachers outside the work quorum, which constitutes a decrease in wages and operating expenses. Despite this, school administrations still work with “the same spirit in terms of inflating their budgets and plundering the parents through high premiums, blurring the worsening economic conditions of people,” according to Mahmoud Qataya, vice president of the Union of Parents and Guardians Committees in Private Schools. The latter does not find a justification for delaying the results of auditing the budgets, especially since accounting experts were appointed by submitting a book of conditions on June 30th. He was also surprised at the continuation of the “seizure” of the arbitration council’s decree, which does not require a decision in the Council of Ministers, but is only waiting for the signature of the Minister of Education and the heads of government and the Republic, and “the result is that schools practice a constant threat to parents and force them to pay the arrears last year in full as a prerequisite for their admission in the school year. This is because of the “failure of the Ministry of Education to perform its duties”, and under penalty of not giving them permission to transfer to other schools.
In some schools, the rudeness has reached a requirement to pay the first installment and pay stationery fees and other “miscellaneous” items that are not included in the budget for student registration, despite the preference for distance education in the first semester to a minimum. It is an option that “last year failed not only in public schools, but also in all private schools, and there is no agreement yet on an electronic platform that contains unified digital resources among schools,” according to Qataya.
While the Union of Private Educational Institutions announced the commitment of the Ministry of Education directives regarding considering September 28 as the national day for the start of the school year, within the approved health conditions, Qataya also pointed to the lack of health, educational and logistical preparedness, warning that schools constitute a ‘Corona time bomb, especially that one injury In one of the schools, it will lead to the registration of thousands of injuries. ”

Association of Institutions: The pressure that some schools exert on parents are abnormal cases

The Federation of Institutions is also awaiting, as the educational official in Al-Mustafa Muhammad Samaha schools said, the release of the health and psychological protocol “which the Minister of Education promised us that it will be issued within days to strengthen health measures in schools and buses.” According to Samaha, there is a tendency for the union not to receive any student in attendance if it is not recommended by the Ministries of Education and Health. However, this does not prevent schools that are not affiliated with the federation to open their account and, according to what “Al-Akhbar” learned, students must attend between two and four days a week, according to the educational stages.
Samaha explained that there is a discussion going on regarding the adoption of distance education for the kindergarten and first cycle of basic education (first, second and third primary education), and “there are educational views that deny that distance education is feasible in these two stages, so some procedures are studied in terms of preparing activities Paper, without there being a final decision in this area ».
Regarding the pressures exerted by schools on parents to fulfill the tuition fees, Samaha said, “These cases are anomalies and do not govern the educational work and educational institutions. It is an injustice to generalize, ”noting that“ what is happening at the minimum level in institutions is to facilitate people’s affairs to the greatest extent by giving discounts and assistance that were sufficient to close the last year and start a safer new year, with evidence that complaints were less than expected. ” Regarding the accusation of the Union of obstructing the formation of the arbitration councils by refusing to nominate its delegates, his tolerance denied that “categorically,” indicating that “we are the party most affected by the disruption of the councils, and the matter has to do with the routine and the government administration that does not initiate the signing of the decree, and if they tell us what they are.” Stitch hidden in the decree ».
What the union expects, according to Samaha, is to expedite the approval of the draft law submitted by the government on educational assistance to the public and private sectors as soon as possible, which provides for the transfer of 500 billion pounds, and distribution to the deserving parents, which will facilitate the completion of the last academic year and preparation for the year new.

Salama did not meet the families of students abroad: O Student Debs …!

(Haitham Al-Mousawi)

At the last moment, the governor of the Banque du Liban, Riad Salameh, apologized for not meeting representatives of the Association of Families of Lebanese Students abroad, instructing his legal advisor, Pierre Kanaan, to hold the meeting. The governor did not hear what the students’ families came for, entrusting the task to others because of his preoccupation with the political situation. However, the association’s representatives insisted on narrating the students ’suffering abroad in order to get the message across to Salameh. A member of the association, Shukri Hamadeh, said that the meeting was an occasion to present “the reality as it is, especially the conditions of students in Eastern Europe”, calling for BDL to move on the line of saving the school year by issuing a circular. However, and “despite the understanding of the matter,” the response was not as long as the families waited, as the legal advisor to the governor pointed out that “the Banque du Liban cannot carry out this task because there is not enough reserve to cover these expenses.”
Nevertheless, the meeting did not leave the meeting without extracting a promise from the Banque du Liban to “support the redundant and expedited student dollar bill proposed to the House of Representatives,” according to what the association’s member, Sami Hamia, said. It is assumed that this promise will be translated as «obligating banks to facilitate sending remittances to students abroad on the basis of the official exchange rate of 1515 in the event that the parliament approves the draft law».
The ball, today, is in the parliament’s court then. Either it passes the law and becomes obligatory for the Banque du Liban to implement its promise, or students will miss the school year. In front of these two possibilities, the people stand up, and the way is no longer open for a third scenario.

Independent Trade Union Movement: Hariri’s proposal is an assault on teachers
The independent trade union movement warned the political authority against compromising the rights of retired teachers by passing draft laws that adopt the dictates of the International Monetary Fund (Paris 3 and Cedar 1 decisions), including the proposal for a law to amend the retirement conditions from private education, which was presented by the Chair of the Parliamentary Education Committee, Bahiya Hariri.
And the current saw, in a statement, that «the body of the proposal contains few pros and many negatives. The positivity lies in giving the teacher the right to receive compensation after 20 years of service, and his right to retire after 25 years of work. As for the negatives, they are represented in the abuse of historical gains, including: reducing the value of the retirement pension from 85% to 65% of the last salary upon maturity of 25 years of service, noting that inflation reduced the purchasing value of the salary by a large percentage; Ignoring the right of professors to the six degrees; Cancellation of the right to obtain 3 months for each year after 30 years of work; And calculating the exchange compensation after revoking the right of a single, divorced, or widowed girl who is not working to benefit from her father’s or mother’s retirement pension upon death if she is disabled.
The current criticized the reasons for the proposal in terms of claiming that the compensation fund crisis is due to the high salaries of old teachers, while “it is caused by the failure of private schools to pay their obligations for several years, even though they take away the dues they collect from teachers and the project condones this described theft.” . Likewise, the proposal “incites the expulsion of old teachers with flimsy, non-pedagogical pretexts, such as pumping new blood and invoking their inability to adapt to technological development, and expresses its concern for schools and their continuity at the expense of teachers’ livelihood and dignity. “
Al-Tayyar indicated that what is being prepared for private education is an introduction to applying it to the public sector, calling on the retired associations to prevent the passage of these projects, and threatening the Syndicate Coordination Body that “the account is coming.”

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