Arabs praise themselves how much they love their children. I’m often amazed how little this love impacts practical details like security, playgrounds, education etc.
Youth from 5-24 years constitutes close to 40 % of the population of Lebanon. The major problems youth are confronted with are: lack of adequate education and employment and exposure to risky behaviours.
Youth and Education
There is great gap between the quality of public and private education in Lebanon since the government does not provide adequate resources to public schools. With a primary school enrolment rate of over 95%, there is no problem in access to education. Rather, the problem youth are facing is one of quality.
Youth and Employment
The unemployment rate for youth is higher than the overall national. There is a gender bias in unemployment since 34% of young women are unemployed versus 20.5% of young men.
An interesting fact is that, for the 20-25 age bracket, unemployment is higher for those who are more educated: 27% for those with university degrees and 14.8% for those with an elementary school degree. Yet, almost one third of employers reported a shortage in the number of employees needed, while 21% of them complained about the unavailability of qualified and skilled labourers. It is clear that unemployed youth are unaware of potential job opportunities and, their knowledge and skills do not correspond to the needs of the Lebanese job market.
Vocational training for young people is seen as the second best. The poor quality of vocational training is reflected in all sectors of the professional life in Lebanon.
There is a big need to improve vocational training and its reputation in Lebanon. Life is simply dangerous if your car is not properly fixed, you electricity is not professionally wired or food is not carefully prepared, nurses are clueless about their jobs etc.
- Pray for the Christian institutions that offer good education. Pray that they stop being greedy and think only of money making.
- Pray that these institutions will remember why they are founded and that they will be willing to spread the gospel again and not become secular schools for the rich in the country.
- Pray for good vocational training possibilities where the students actually learn how to work.
- The ongoing turmoil in the country does not give young people hope for a future. Pray for stability in the country and that young people can learn that with God they have a future and hope here.