Lebanon’s Educational Institutions

By The Monthly - | - last updated :


Educational Institutions in Lebanon

There are 2,812 schools in Lebanon which provide pre-university education to 917,877 students, of whom 32,000 have received the Baccalaureate Degree.
In addition, there are 439 technical schools and institutes registering 99,731 students, of whom 16,773 have obtained a technical degree (C.A.P.- L.E.T- L.T.- T.S.- B.T.- S.P- B.P.)
There are also 38 higher educational institutions with 106,364 students, of whom 26,879 graduated in the academic year of 2005-2006.

Problems facing the sector

A large number of students graduate each year, in particular in higher education. Since the Lebanese job market cannot contain this large number, an unemployment or emigration problem arises. As only competent students succeed in finding a job abroad, local unemployment faces two main problems :
Firstly: The large number of students in certain specializations has led to a surplus in the job market in Lebanon and abroad. Some of these specializations are theoretical; the Lebanese University for example graduated 3,611 students in Literature and Human and Social Sciences for the 2005-2006 academic year.
Secondly: According to owners of private companies interviewed by The Monthly, there is a major lack of competence among candidates. Those companies, in their search for new employees, usually conduct interviews with hundreds of candidates to be able to select one competent candidate. They also say that sometimes they content themselves forced to recruit with available candidates, when they are unable to find a new candidate who has the required qualifications.

The following examples demonstrate the decrease in competence among Lebanese students:

- A school seeking to recruit Arabic Language teachers asked the candidates to write an essay in Arabic; their essays featured many grammatical mistakes.
- Three applicants for a position of Arabic Language Teacher in a school, were unable to name the author of the book The Prophet.
- A law firm, seeking to recruit three lawyers, asked candidates to name the year when the Lebanese Constitution was adopted; none of them knew the answer.
- A candidate applying for a position in a statistics company did not know how to calculate a percentage.
- A major decrease in language competency was also noted among candidates.

In the exams held by the Civil Service Council to choose heads of departments, the following cases were reported:

- 83 candidates applied for the position of system analyst at Beirut Public Hospital; but only five candidates were deemed suitable.
- 60 candidates applied for the position of geography specialist at the Central Statistics Administration but only one candidate was deemed suitable.
- 12 candidates applied for a position of economic science specialist at the Central Statistics Administration but only three candidates was deemed suitable.
- 241 candidates applied for positions of electrical technician at Electricité du Liban (EDL) and only 20 candidates won.
- 282 candidates applied for positions of electronic technician at EDL and only 20 candidates won.
- In a poll conducted by The Monthly : Information International on the success rates in Brevet exams (2006-2007) and published in The Monthly’s issue 64 of 2007, results showed that 27% of passing students received mention (good) and 87.7% of passing students received failing grades in English & Arabic.