Libya: the will to change

©UNESCO/ Lodovico Folin-Calabi - A girl’s school in Libya

The country needs in-depth renewal of educational policies. A team from UNESCO, including IIEP's Director of the Organization’s International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) visited Libya in March 2012.

They witnessed a strong motivation on the part of Libyan education leaders to reform the education system as a foundation of a society in which individual citizens are looked after.

In the wake of the revolution in 2011, the country’s education sector is facing immense challenges, largely as a result of lack of proper planning processes in the past. Libyans are eager to reform their education system. They expect education to play a major role in building Aa political system and a more equitable society.

Two new ministries (a Ministry of Education and a Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research) have been asked to prepare brief strategic plans with a timeframe (December 2011 – June 2012) for immediate or short-term objectives, namely:

  • the maintenance of schools damaged during the 2011 upheavals;
  • accommodating children of displaced families in schools in their original areas of residence;
  • reviewing curricula and textbooks, and printing textbooks, especially for history, civic education, and Arabic language.  

In the medium and long term the Libyan authorities have identified many fields where improvements are needed:  formulation of new educational policies and sector plans for the reform of education, curriculum development, development and dissemination of early childhood, inclusive education and technical and vocational education programmes, regulating private education, introducing e-learning, training teachers and developing institutional capacity within the ministry and the education system as a whole.  

Enrolment of children in schools does not appear to be a challenge at basic and secondary education levels. The challenge concerns rather the quality of education in general, and the relevance and type of educational provision at the secondary level.

The MoE is currently organizing consultation meetings in various provinces of Libya so as to engage education stakeholders in discussions about the future of education in the country. A national consultation is to be held in April 2012 to set the main goals for education on which strategic plans can be based.

Libya is still at an early stage of a transformative change. UNESCO is keen help it meeting its education goals. The framework and the scope of UNESCO’s involvement are currently in discussion.

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