No Child Left Behind

Education is always a topic of great debate in the United States as of late though it seems to particularly focus on the decline of the education system. It goes without saying that better education leads to a brighter future for a country. Similar to the U.S. there is a vast difference between private and public education in Lebanon. Private schools are often incredibly expensive leaving children to attend questionable public schools. In Lebanon, there is also the issue of Palestinian refugees and other children that have little chance of attending school at all due to various restrictions. Two thirds of Palestinian refugees above the age of 15 have not received the Brevet, which is a certificate that is required to enroll in secondary school. Despite all this, Lebanon continues to have one of the highest literacy rates in the Middle East, 75 to 88%. With such vastly different perspectives on education in Lebanon it is difficult to say which is accurate. In the U.S. schools face similar problems, the quality of education one receives sadly often depends on the area you live in and the background you come from making it nearly impossible to change your social class.

One perspective I found in my research is the discussion and problem of the disparity in education between the rich and the poor. In private schools students have the opportunity to focus on several foreign languages which is obviously incredibly beneficial but at the same time creates a huge gap between them and students who don’t have the same opportunities. There is also a large disparity in the access to education in cities and in rural areas. In relation to private schools they have the ability to determine their own curriculum and persuasions. Meaning, certain schools may be pro-western or pro-eastern oriented or reflect certain religious or political affiliations which then reflects on the students. Some feel that this may further divide people of different backgrounds because separating schools by these affiliations simply points out and emphasizes the differences between them.

In the U.S. public schools in poor areas tend to experience issues with funding for books, computers, and teachers. This typically leaves schools struggling with high student to teacher ratios and little individual attention for students. Public schools in Lebanon face similar issues leaving poorer students with a very small chance of passing official exams and therefore enrolling in higher education. Lebanon also has few vocational schools, other than in the capitol, that offer students another option after the mandatory schooling period, age 15. This is however not always enforced due to lack of government facilities and facilities for something like this.

Students in Lebanon

After the civil war in Lebanon the entire country went under a massive reconstruction, including the education system. Despite this modernization there are still many problems that need to be addressed for all students to have equal opportunities and access to a better education and a better future. Education reforms are something that will continue to be discussed because as our world changes so too do the necessities of what we need to learn. This rigid, unchanging system that education seems to have become needs to be something of the past if the future will be any different.


4 thoughts on “No Child Left Behind

  1. Income disparity notwithstanding, education, policy, and textbooks will always be a debate – as well it should be. However, some of these campaigners are just plain evil. Taking science out of a science book is nothing short of profoundly malevolent. As is taking accuracy and perspective out of a history book.

  2. While the problems with education in Lebanon do seem worse than the problem we have here in the U.S., our education system is riddled with problems. Most children in our country rely on public education ,yet every year the money for public education is cut more and more. Many of our school, especially inner city and rural schools are failing, but instead of fixing them, we encourage parents to enroll their children in alternative schools. This leaves the majority of children without any options because better schools can only take a limited number of students and private schools are expensive, leaving only the wealthy or lucky scholarship receivers able to go that route.

    There are not enough resources to properly educate children in poor districts. In some schools the children do not have books let alone any other reading materials. Teachers get burnt out form a lack of support and stop doing their jobs.

    I wonder if this poor funding and poor public support also contributes to Lebanon’s problems or if it is more complicated? I also wonder why education is always among the first budgets to be cut in the U.S. when it is among the most vital.

  3. It is unfortunate that everyone doesn’t have the opportunity to go through a good education system. Whoever becomes the next U.S. President will have a major hand in the education system and its processes. While school tax levees across America fail due to the poor economy and state educational funding is cut; it seems hope for a beneficial public education system is only a mere dream. The student to teacher ratio is also a major problem because students are unable to receive the attention they deserve within a normal class day. I also think it’s ridiculous that we spend billions on military spending when we can’t provide a sustainable education for each American citizen. If Lebanon has the monetary capacity to invest in education for refugees and lower class citizens, then I would advise them to do so.

  4. Private schools in Lebanon are more expensive than public schools, thus Private schools are appreciated by many parents in Lebanon because they provide a better education and have specialized teachers. In addition, they are more interested in the students than the public schools. Families are interested in private schools, as they want to ensure a better future for their children.

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