Lebanon’s parliament has failed yet again. It failed to elect a president for the Republic over the past 3 months. It failed again yesterday. It failed to secure the promised demands of Lebanon’s workers syndicate. And it will keep failing because that’s how our excuse of a legislative body functions.
10 minutes was all it took for this parliament to pass the law that extended its mandate for a year and half last year. This same parliament has failed to manage a two third majority for almost all of its sessions following our presidential election attempt, also read charade, back in early April.
The issue at hand is a debate worth having: rightful demands versus economic responsibilities. It’s also a debate that this country, where flashy headlines always take the cake, does not have the ability to hold. Our parliament, however, is not held back by the economic woes that such demands would hold. They’re held back by the typical political tug-of-war we’ve had for the past five years, if not more, and by them trying to come up with ways to circumvent having their properties taxed and finding ways for us to carry the burden of the workers’ demands.
In this ongoing war between Lebanon’s classes, the only entity lost in limbo is Lebanese students who have no idea what’s happening with them and their official exams, which will determine the course of their future.
Last week, Lebanon’s current minister of education postponed official exams by about a week in order to see what transpires from today’s parliamentary session. Perhaps it was a move to press on our legislators to see if they actually cared about the students. Well, if it were it turns out they don’t.
So what’s happening to those official exams now? The minister is saying that the students will go on and present those exams but the teachers will not correct, which begets the obvious question: what’s the point of holding exams if the papers are to sit in some warehouse, ink on paper without grades?
Our speaker of parliament, Nabih Berri, just announced as well that Lebanon’s current climate is not one where official exams can be held. Ladies and gentlemen, our country is a place, it seems, where holding exams is now a matter of national “climate,” which is the excuse given last year not to hold parliamentary elections. I wonder, when is the climate in this country ever suitable for things that should function seamlessly for them to do so?
Meanwhile, about 100,000 Lebanese students are falling hostage to the ongoing political bickering taking place in the country, their entire future in limbo. For the past two months, these students have been sitting at home studying and preparing for exams they didn’t even know would happen.
Can you imagine the amount of stress that these fifteen and seventeen year olds have to withstand not knowing what’s happening with them, having their exams postponed one minute and then not knowing if they’re taking place the next? We were lucky back then that our only worry was about passing, not about whether all the studying would actually culminate in an exam taking place or not.
Those 100,000 students, spread upon brevet, baccalaureate and technical eduction, will be stuck if those exams don’t happen. Those in brevet won’t pass to secondary classes. Those presenting their bac will not go to universities. What’s worse is that everyone knows this exceedingly well and still those students are used as a bargaining chip to advance rights or lack thereof. What’s even worse is that those 100,000 students have nothing to do with the issue at hand. Shouldn’t their future be off limits to the ongoing bickering?
It doesn’t matter where you stand regarding the demands of Lebanon’s syndicate of worker, but using Lebanon’s students and their future as a bargaining chip, keeping them hostage to the current situation is not something anyone should stand with.
This is a country without a president, without a decent functional working body, without legislation, without parliamentary elections, without security or sovereignty. But no worries everyone, our government is hard at work making sure you can watch the World Cup on Tele Liban. Yes, that’s what truly matters now. Forza Azzurri everyone.