The Effect of the Summer War on the Education Sector
On December 12, a presentation entitled "Impact of Summer War on
the Educational Sector" was held at West Hall. Organized by the Education
Department and presented by Haneen Sayed of the World Bank to the Education
Forum, the study focused on the psychological and financial consequences
of this summer's 33-day war between Hezbollah and Israel on Lebanon's
The assessment, conducted before the end of the war and with the permission
of the Ministry of Finance, mainly covered the public school sector and
the pre-tertiary levels. Sayed began the lecture by explaining the direct
impact of the war on the educational sector in terms of the physical damage
to the infrastructure, saying that 15 percent of Lebanon's public school
buildings sustained some damage. The indirect impact was more extensive
and long lasting. It includes an increase in drop-out rates, a shift in
enrollment and registration rates, and migration of the most qualified
teachers, as well as socio-psychological problems.
Sayed pointed out, however, these problems existed before the war, but
have only become exacerbated. In considering solutions to the accumulated
problems, the short-term measures include infrastructure reconstruction,
waiver of school fees, providing free textbooks, and preventing drop-outs,
as well as providing public awareness campaigns. The medium-term reform
proposals include eliminating public school and textbook fees at the basic
levels and allowing the government to take care of most of the expenses.
The issue of financing such proposals arises. Sayed stated that the minimum
cost of addressing all the impact of the war is estimated at $86 million.
She said that for at least this year, donors will be able to cover the
expenses, but Lebanon will be faced with financial problems in the future
in the absence of those donors.
Haneen Sayed has an MA in economics from Columbia University, and joined
the World Bank in 1982. She is currently based in Lebanon conducting further