Aid & Development

Public education in Libya suffers from a lack of resources

North Africa

Public education in Libya has significantly deteriorated due to lack of funding for teachers and infrastructure. As a result private international schools have gained dominance over Libya's education sector.

The public sector in Libya has been staggering ever since the downfall of the Gaddafi regime, which used to provide at least the minimum in public services. The education sector has been hit hard by the ensuing years of civil conflict in the country and has been struggling to recover due to political instability, poor governance and a lack of public funding.

There is a significant gap between the standard of education provided by international and private schools on the one hand and public schools on the other. Public school teachers cite a lack of financing and a shortage of resources hindering the development of public schools and state education. International schools and private schools have a number of advantages over public ones, such as the teaching of subjects in foreign languages, which then grants students an advantage in the labour market in the future.

Nevertheless, the large majority of Libyan are unable to afford the education provided by international and private schools and so are reliant on public schools. Many schools across the country still lack the necessary equipment to provide children and students with proper education. The lack of electricity in large parts of the country has also made conditions to teach and learn more difficult.

The lack of state support for public schools has motivated local volunteers and local non-governmental actors and organisations to take the initiative and assist the schools. For instance, earlier this year, volunteers and international organisations, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) joined forces to rehabilitate schools that were heavily damaged by the conflict in Sirte.

Teachers have also felt the need to discuss possible reforms to the education system, especially with regards to the teaching of the English language, in order to reduce the gap between public and private schools.

Image: Al Ghad