Coronavirus cases in Lebanon have soared since the explosion in the Port of Beirut. It placed new strains on a society and education system already coping with overlapping financial, health and infrastructural crises. In addition to killing hundreds and injuring thousands, the explosion ripped away social distancing precautions when people rushed to provide assistance to traumatized citizens. The blast and its aftermath forced more than 300,000 people to flee unsafe homes and shelter in crowded camps or with friends or relatives. This sudden movement and suspension of health safeguards doubled coronavirus infections in only two weeks, prompting new lockdown restrictions, slowing the restarting of a struggling economy.
Critical infrastructure including three hospitals and numerous schools were destroyed. In total 159 schools were damaged, adding even greater urgency to efforts to support students remotely with distant learning solutions. The government plans to reopen schools on 29 September using distance education modalities. UNESCO is working to help assure all learners can access education and learning, particularly those most adversely impacted by the recent crises.
On Tuesday, 1 September, UNESCO held an exceptional meeting of Coalition members to discuss cooperation and commitments for Lebanon to ensure that #LearningNeverStops.