My name is Michael and I’m a 20-year-old student from Lebanon. Education has always been a crucial issue within the Lebanese society, because my country has been drowning in government corruption for years, thus leading to a huge negligence towards the educational system and its improvement. I believe that true education is the one needed to be able to live a normal daily life, interact with others through intellectual conversations and build the person’s character- the way they see the world and the way the world sees them.
Our educational system, here in Lebanon, has proven to be somewhat ineffective throughout the past few decades in forming a better society. It has been focusing that whole time on what they are required to teach, not what they should be teaching, and this is still happening until today.
One of the main gaps in our educational system is the the fact that students are not being taught about their present, the times they are living in, who is ruling them, how they should criticize and question what goes around them, especially the things coming from their government. That gap led to 30 years of corruption, an economic crisis, a hyperinflation of the Lebanese currency, high rates of unemployment and immigration, and poverty, all of that in one year (2020). The fact that no one from the older generation was taught to question what their government was doing is the reason the corruption grew till it held its own people hostage.
Education’s whole purpose is to form a better society, to make generations learn from the sins of previous ones, to make them find their true selves. But unfortunately, the Lebanese educational system has failed at this. Meanwhile other nations are finding solutions on how to make education a smoother and more pleasant process to the youth, Lebanon is offering minimal-to-zero attention to what this generation actually needs. It needs answers. Answers to questions the older generations didn’t think were important to ask.
Most of the Lebanese youth doesn’t believe in climate change, nor RECYCLING. Many of them don’t know their constitutional rights. Others don’t believe in abolishing the modern-slavery program “Kafala” (which provide African domestic workers to work in Lebanon while offering them absolutely no rights and condoning their abuse).
The future starts now.
The whole Lebanese educational system needs to be reformed, so that generations can change. And I believe, with the help of the fellow participants and senior officials participating in this conference, they can lead by example and we can have a clear pathway on how to proceed and change this system for good. We need to remind the Lebanese authorities about the purpose of education, and how it should be used to create a better society, and evolve, as a person and as a whole.
Join me and 5 other youth finalists as we engage with senior decision makers and policy makers on the purpose of education. Register now as limited spots are available: https://delegatesfortage.paperform.co/
As part of the UN75 initiative, the United Nations in India launched the #UnitedForHope campaign in partnership with Youth Ki Awaaz with the aim to create meaningful conversations with as many people as possible: to listen to their hopes and fears; learn from their experiences; and empower them to think and act globally.
With the spirit of “We The Peoples” at its core, the campaign provides an opportunity for the global public, especially young people, to share their ideas on how to tackle the developmental challenges of today, and build a better future for everyone, everywhere. For more information, see: in.one.un.org/un75