TRIPOLI, Lebanon: More than 50 parents of students enrolled at public schools in Beddawi, north Lebanon, blocked Thursday a road in the area to protest admission fees.
The protesters, who blocked the road near Dar al-Salam Public School, argued that the state must not allow public schools to charge parents admission fees which are priced at LL90,000 ($60) for Kinder Garden students and LL110,000 for primary and intermediary levels.
Some protesters suggested local MPs cover the expenses, pointing to the example of MP Robert Fadel who pays school fees to poor families from nearby Tripoli, Lebanon’s second largest city.
Robert Habib, head of the Tripoli and Mina Development Association, called on the Education Ministry to pay the registration fees for public schools, saying the minister should take into consideration the pressing socioeconomic circumstances of citizens, particularly during this difficult period.
He also stressed the need to issue a decree eliminating the additional fees.
"It is important to monitor any price manipulation of school books, which have risen to levels beyond of the capabilities of parent who can barely pay tuition fees,” Habib told The Daily Star.
“Such conditions could force some parents to keep their children out of school, which in turn would serve a blow to public education,” he added.
Other protes said local MPs should pay tuition on their behalf, pointing to MP Robert Fadel who pays school fees to poor families from Tripoli, nearby to Beddawi.