Libya: A School Year without Books and the Corruption of the Dbeibeh Government Threatens the Future of the Country

The Libyan Government anticipates the start of the new school year on October 16, which is later than the start of previous school years, in order to provide the Ministry of Education in the Government of National Unity with sufficient time to provide the school textbook. The delay of its arrival caused a major crisis in schools last year. The current year is witnessing a new change, with the presence of two executive authorities, the Government of National Unity, headed by Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, which has expired, and the Libyan Government appointed by the House of Representatives, headed by Fathi Bashagha, which operates from the cities of Sirte and Benghazi in the eastern region, after the first government refused to hand over power.

Recurrent crisis

Last year witnessed a severe crisis in the provision of textbooks to public school students in all regions of Libya, despite the provision of the necessary funds. Libyan observers attributed the crisis to late financial measures and the negligence of some company owners, who contributed in one way or another to the delay in printing the textbook. As for this year, the Ministry of Education in the Government of National Unity announced the arrival of a percentage of textbooks, which are printed abroad, through shipping via ports and airports. Accusations were made in the past crisis by the Minister of Education, Moussa Al-Megarief, who, according to followers of the committee formed to print and provide the textbook, by a ministerial decision two months before the crisis, but what happened is that the Ministry of Finance delayed in granting the necessary compensation to school teachers in the Ministry of Unity, and Al-Al-Houthi, They wanted their own company to print and supply the textbook.

Waste of public money

Abdullah Al-Dibani, a legal researcher and a political analyst, said, “According to the statements of the Minister of Education in the government of Dbeibeh, the value of the textbook has not been monitored so far. Therefore, we will see the crisis of the textbook returning anew, but it is possible that the government of Fathi Bashagha will print the book and make it available to educational institutions.” He added, “The Ministry of Education in the government of Dbeibeh spent and wasted money that was not legally valid, and went beyond the list of accounts and the budget, as well as the list of contracts, and this was shown in the report of the Audit Bureau in 2022, as well as the report of administrative oversight.”

Government scandals

In the face of all the scandals of tampering with the public money committed by the government of Dbeibeh, with hundreds of millions wasted on trips, luxury cars and telephones, the National Center for Disease Control announced the exhaustion of routine vaccinations for students, before the start of their next school year, without the availability of the textbook, as happened last year. He condemned the justification of the Minister of Education in the government of Dbeibeh, the waste of public money in the purchase of modern telephones, as a right allowed by law, and ignored the priority and importance of disbursing these funds to provide the textbook instead of buying phones. On the other hand, the government tasked by the House of Representatives headed by Fathi Bashagha, during the second meeting of the Ministry of Education in Benghazi, pledged to provide the textbook and all the textbooks and seats required for the educational process.

Militia crisis

The western region is suffering from the spread of militias that control a number of state institutions. These militias are now the official force providing protection to the outgoing government of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh. At a time when Libya produces more than 1.1 million barrels of oil per day, the Ministry of Education, Health, and the service ministries find themselves unable to provide basic services to citizens. A dispute has arisen over the date of the next school year between the Ministries of Education in the Dbeibeh government and the Government of Bashagha.

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