Notre Dame University-Louaize North Lebanon Campus (NDU-NLC) organized on Friday March 31, 2017, a conference titled, “Current Reality of Private Schools,” which was held under the auspices of the Minister of Education Marwan Hamade, represented by Imad el-Achkar who is responsible for the private school sector at the ministry. The conference attracted several prominent speakers from various private institutions.
The conference session was moderated by El-Achkar and included Director of the National Orthodox School of El- Mina Michel Katra; Director in Lebanon of the Lycee Franco-Libanais Alphonse de Lamartine Najla Hawly; Collège des Frères de la Sainte Famille Chrétiennes, Deddeh, Dr. Dany al-Rassy; and Director of Special Needs at the Rawda School in Tripoli Dr. Tamim Allam.
NLC Public Relations Head, Edgar Merheb-Harb opened the session by raising several critical questions related to private schools, which the conference participants were expected to answer. Even if the answers were not immediately forthcoming, he added, they soon would be through a joint committee comprising of representatives from schools, ministry, and others who would be tasked with following up the conference recommendations and deciding on the future steps to be taken to implement the decisions.
NLC Director, Fr. Samir Ghsoub noted that private schools are not only the University’s natural partners but also they are bound by a common interest to provide better education and to an impart to their students an outstanding level of knowledge.
For his part, Vice-President for Public Affairs and Communications at NDU, Mr. Souhail Matar delivered on behalf of NDU President Fr. Walid Moussa a speech that wished the conference great success and a positive outcome in its quest to solve this complicated issue.
Secretary General of the General Secretariat of Catholic Schools in Lebanon, Fr. Boutros Azar warned about the gravity of the situation and blamed the high charges levied on the sector by the government. “The main problem is not with the private schools,” he said, “rather, it is with the public schools whose operating costs are mind-boggling.”
Following three hours of brilliant speeches and heated discussions, the conference ended with a cocktail, which hosted the participants, parents’ committees, and teaching teams of the major private schools in North Lebanon.