The plan to end the school year: The Ministry of Education does not read!


A blessing a blessing –

Since February 2020, the Ministry of Education has not worked to find real solutions, nor has it developed an implementable scenario in emergency situations. All propositions are topical solutions to structural problems that did not rise to a level that could save the educational sector from deterioration

What the Ministry of Education proposes in its plan to complete the school year and conduct official examinations is, in practice, extending the school year for public schools and leaving the option for private schools to work according to the extension decision, or ending the school year upon completion of the program, provided that the official exams for the general secondary school are organized on July 26 with a reduced curriculum as well. Also, with specific materials according to the specialty.

What Education Minister Tariq Al-Majzoub said, in his press conference yesterday, is an admission that public schools have not completed the program, and have failed to provide distance education at the level of some private sector schools that refuse to extend the school year. Failure here does not mean an individual case or a slide in a specific place. Rather, failure affects more than a million students.
Since February 2020, the date the Corona pandemic entered Lebanon, the Ministry has not worked to find real solutions and was distracted by the alleys conflicts within it. It did not develop a single feasible scenario, did not follow an effective strategy to deal with emergency cases, and did not read the numbers, statistics, health and political indicators.
It is illogical that the ministry does not know what is going on in its schools, and how many drop out of education. Rather, it does not want to disclose the results and does not read them properly to take the appropriate action. Data are collected periodically from public schools through the reports of directors and coordinators, the Directorate of Guidance and Orientation, and the Educational Center for Research and Development. They are poured into the General Directorate of Education, but they do not contribute in any way to developing a plan or correcting distance education paths.
It is known that distance education has failed miserably, and the Ministry’s insistence today on conducting exams is a confirmation of this, while other countries can boldly cancel their official exams because they adopt different, pliant and cumulative evaluation methods, while we are stuck in one criterion, which is the official exam. From here we understand the approach of the official exams intended to take place! Reducing the number of exam materials and restricting them to basic subjects according to the specialization, inevitably means an emphasis on the indoctrination trend, that is, we will see diluted materials and non-overlapping specialization materials, and therefore those who memorize and recount what they learned during the extension weeks will inevitably succeed in the merit, but in reality they will learn little .
This fact is not ignored by universities abroad, and it is likely that it will not facilitate the admission of students coming from Lebanon who hold an official degree.

The second gap is the differences between distance education and the expected attendance in public schools. The determined matter with regard to some private schools is that they will terminate the program remotely in June, while students in the public sector will return to attendance education for a period of 7 weeks during which they are scheduled to study the reduced curriculum specified by the Ministry, and official examinations will be conducted based on what public schools have accomplished during this period. ! But is it fair not to notice the differences in the acquisition process between urban and distance education? Will the exams notice these differences? Will we expect the public sector to outperform the private sector because students are more prepared to take the exams? Will exam preparation committees formulate questions that note the hybrid and somewhat different learning between private and formal? Does the ministry have the expertise, data and resources to formulate questions appropriate to the two types of education?
As for the private schools, whose number exceeds 1,600, a small number of them possess the capabilities and means of so-called distance education, and this number does not exceed 100 schools with a maximum of 200,000 students, out of 1.1 million students in public and private schools. As for the pupils of the rest of the private schools, they are less fortunate and study in semi-free schools, and private schools – shops.
The recent statement of the Association of Private Educational Institutions confirms the privilege of the elite schools, which have been able to provide remote education to a large extent, and demands that examinations be conducted for them alone. And in the association of institutions demand something of the right, since it is not acceptable to punish part of the students for a reason outside the law and outside of the ministry’s basic emergency plan and because of the ministry’s failure to implement it?
The lucky ones among the private school students are those who have followed a foreign curriculum recognized abroad, and the number of these does not exceed 50 thousand.
All the solutions presented are local solutions to structural problems, as the ministry can amend and reduce curricula by a decision of the minister, and it can also conduct official examinations only with basic subjects according to specialization, but it is not able to this day to secure centralized education asynchronous (electronic platform) or to impose it on municipalities Cooperation to secure electricity and the Internet for students, or to impose broadcasting television episodes on the station, and it has not established an exceptional evaluation system and did not activate the work of the Educational Center and Educational Television or invest the $ 204 million allocated for the development of education.
The teachers did more than what was required of them, and the Ministry did not make a simple effort to develop pathways and plans to support their performance and improve the quality of education, given that their experiences are not in distance education but in urban education. As for distance, asynchronous or electronic education, it is quite another matter. Regardless of the efforts made by teachers, the acquisition rates from distance education, as currently approved, do not exceed 50% in the best cases, which is planned.

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