Key Speeches

Introduction > Launching the first school year according to the new educational system – September 29, 1998

Launching the New Educational Program, 1998
Fellow Lebanese,
We have promised, and thank God, we were up to our words.
On January 9, 1996 you announced the new educational structure, back then we said that “a real and comprehensive promotion of the education and teaching sector must start this year, as the status of the sector requires extensive renewal.”
Today we announce that a united curriculum will be applied in all schools in the school year 1998-1999, after you finalized the new education curricula and books.
Four years ago I questioned the credibility of 30 year old educational curricula and called for setting new curricula that are capable of promoting strong and firm citizenship, preparing skills and competencies and strengthening the ties between Lebanese people with the cultural elite; in addition, to linking education to the labor market.
Now that you have achieved the above, I recommend that you to teach facts, reach for your aims and race against time.
Refrain from theories, thrust creativity and protect the freedom of education (…)
Let it be a battle freedom in the time of stability and advancement
A battle against illiteracy, unemployment among the youth and immigration
Spreading education and teaching is a national responsibility, that of the state and society along with the educational team, the political parties, the production, economic and social sectors and the media, cultural elite and intelligentsia.
Education must encourage respect to the laws, and citizenship over sectarianism strife (…)
Let it be a battle for freedom of expression, and a battle for openness to the elite of cultures and sciences.
We further commend your determination to include a third foreign language in the curricula.
Beloved Lebanese,
The most significant part of your achievement is giving back the state its status and position in the process of education and teaching.
The book of national and civic educational is about to see light, but the history book yet remains to be published.
Following the council of ministers ratification of the history book curriculum, you informed us that preparations have reached the final stag. We had hoped to celebrate the release of the book.
Allow me to discuss the issue of religious education.
Before God Almighty, the nation and history, I regret that nine years into the peace process and after renewing the 30 year old curricula, the subject is being debated in a way, similar to the rhetoric of past eras.
The Lebanese state protects the freedom of belief amongst others, and its approaches are similar to that of a civil state.
Protect the achievements of your fathers and ancestors, and work on the basis of national authenticity.
Remember, the constitution stipulates that the people are the source of power, not sectarian strife.
Allow the state institutions to plan for the interests of the people and the nation.
The state supports the freedom of religion, and it is highly committed to practicing faith; however, it strongly believes that a united religious book for all students Muslims and Christians must be published to teach them the essence and philosophies of all religions and unite them around God and the nation.
This is the responsibility of the state, it is comprehensive and complete, and giving religion lessons to students according to their sect and out of state control will not be tolerated.
Or else why establish a state and take responsibility.
Beloved Lebanese,
We congratulate you on your achievement and we look forward to your success.
The future of Lebanon, a united nation, the future of Lebanon, a source of scientific, cultural and artistic inspiration in the East, lies in your hands.
Today does not mark the end of your mission, the challenge has yet to start.

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