Rain and schools in time of Libyan poorness

By Abdel Wahab Qarenqo

In the western and eastern areas of the country, governments, ministries, and even municipal councils announce the suspension of schools and the deprivation of students from education when it rains, or snow falls on the country’s Jebel Akhdar and Nafusa Mountains with cold waves in other regions. The authorities’ usual excuse is bad weather.

However, the real excuse not recognized by the two governments of Libya is the poor infrastructure of the cities and towns of the country and lack of suitable services or public transport amid the semi-collapse of the state.

In addition, the country suffers from the weakness of its electricity grid in normal conditions, let alone in such bad conditions, not to mention the classrooms that lack heating and most of which has no toilets, besides other problems.

Recently, in the second largest city in the country, Benghazi, the police arrested a group of students who ran away from school and treated them like criminals, thieves, or killers. They forced the students into prison cages in police cars, and no one knows so far what they have experienced in the police department. That was another injustice towards Libyan students.

What drew my attention as I write this article, the education management department of Al-Jafra municipality, which includes the schools of five cities in the center of the country, issued a decision to only cancel the morning assembly for students. “Because of the low temperature, especially in the early hours of the morning, Al-Jafra Education Office announces the cancellation of the morning assembly for all schools this week,” the announcement on Facebook read.

At the end of its announcement, the management noted that Sunday – which is an almost official holiday in most parts of the country – is a normal school day in Al-Jafra.

This is the ideal and civilized way which our Libyan educational institutions should pursue, rather than looking for any excuse to disrupt schools.

In conclusion, when winter comes, the schools and public institutions stop waiting for a political unification to be achieved. The Libyan student and his family are always the first victims of poor services.

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