Educational System in Lebanon

The one tip that you hear expats living in Lebanon repeatedly sharing with newcomers is not to buy a home when you first move to Lebanon. Rent for a few months or longer so that you have time to find the right neighborhood. Give yourself time to ensure that Lebanon is right for you for the long term. If you've already taken time to do those things and are ready to take the plunge and become a property owner, here are tips about buying a home in Lebanon.

Lebanon, a country known for its rich history and cultural diversity, also boasts a unique and diverse educational system. The Lebanese educational system is a blend of different curricula, languages, and teaching methods, reflecting the country’s multicultural society. This guide aims to provide expats with a comprehensive understanding of the educational system in Lebanon, including the main stages of education, enrollment procedures, language requirements, and the availability of public, private, and online schooling options.

What are the main stages of education in Lebanon?

The Lebanese educational system is divided into four main stages: Pre-school (also known as Kindergarten), Basic Education (Elementary and Intermediate), Secondary Education, and Higher Education. Each stage has its own specific age group and focus areas.

Pre-school Education

Pre-school education in Lebanon is for children aged 3 to 5. It focuses on the child’s overall development, including cognitive, emotional, and social skills. This stage is not mandatory but is highly recommended to prepare children for the next stages of education.

Basic Education

Basic Education is divided into two sub-stages: Elementary (6 to 11 years old) and Intermediate (12 to 14 years old). This stage focuses on building foundational knowledge in various subjects such as Mathematics, Science, Arabic, and a second language (usually French or English).

Secondary Education

Secondary Education is for students aged 15 to 18. It is divided into General Secondary Education and Technical Secondary Education. The former prepares students for university studies, while the latter provides vocational training.

Higher Education

Higher Education in Lebanon includes universities, technical institutes, and vocational training centers. The admission requirements vary depending on the institution and the field of study.

How does a newcomer from a different country enroll their kids in school?

Newcomers can enroll their children in Lebanese schools by submitting an application to the desired school, along with the necessary documents such as birth certificates, previous school records, and immunization records. It’s advisable to contact the school directly for specific enrollment procedures and requirements.

Can children still learning Arabic enroll in a public school?

Yes, children who are still learning Arabic can enroll in public schools in Lebanon. However, they may face challenges as the primary language of instruction in public schools is Arabic. Some schools offer additional language support for non-Arabic speakers.

Are there public bilingual schools?

Yes, there are public bilingual schools in Lebanon. These schools offer instruction in both Arabic and a second language, usually French or English. Admission procedures for international students vary, so it’s best to contact the school directly for information.

What types of private schools are common in Lebanon?

Private schools in Lebanon are diverse, including Catholic schools, International schools, and Bilingual schools. International schools often follow the curriculum of their respective countries, while Bilingual schools offer instruction in both Arabic and a second language.

Do expats typically send their children to public or private school?

Expats in Lebanon typically send their children to private schools due to the language barrier in public schools and the high standard of education in private institutions.

How expensive are Private schools in Lebanon?

The cost of private schools in Lebanon varies greatly depending on the school and the curriculum it offers. On average, annual tuition fees can range from $3,000 to $15,000.

Are you allowed to homeschool while living in Lebanon?

While homeschooling is not common in Lebanon, it is not explicitly prohibited. However, it’s advisable to consult with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education for guidance and to ensure that the homeschooling curriculum meets the national education standards.

May kids attend online school instead of a local school while living in Lebanon?

Yes, children can attend online schools while living in Lebanon. However, it’s important to ensure that the online school is accredited and that the curriculum aligns with the Lebanese educational standards if the child plans to continue their education in Lebanon.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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