BEIRUT: Speaker Nabih Berri and MP Michel Aoun Tuesday discussed the long-running Lebanese University crisis, including the appointment of new deans and employment of full-time contract professors, OTV reported.
The two discussed the issue in a phone call just hours after Education Minister Elias Bou Saab held a meeting with Kataeb MP Sami Gemayel, whose party rejected some items in a decree to resolve the LU dispute put forward during a Cabinet session last week.
Discussion on the decree was postponed to Thursday after the Kataeb Party rejected the number of professors penciled in to be hired.
Bou Saab said he met with a Kataeb party delegation specializing in education affairs and examined the list of names of professors that would benefit from the decree, as demanded by the group.
Kataeb oppose the fact that the number of contract professors targeted by the decree has increased from 700 to 1,200 and insist that every contract professor should satisfy the required criteria for them to become a full-timer.
Bou Saab said Kataeb still had reservations about the names of deans to be appointed but that he would hold contacts with the party to resolve the matter before Thursday’s Cabinet session.
“The Progressive Socialist Party is against the Lebanese University file but I do not know their demands. We will contact them soon and resolve the issue,” he said.
However, the minister sounded pessimistic over the possibility of ending the LU ordeal, saying the issue had become politicized.
“There is a big obstacle facing this file and it has nothing to do with the university. Today, we are seeing political obstacles ... which began with the presidential void and the boycott of Parliamentary sessions. And we are seeing the same thing in Cabinet,”
“Some political parties decided that the Lebanese University and correcting exams should be part of a bigger problem in the country.”
He appealed to political parties to distance the education sector from political issues for the sake of students.