Sidon MP Bahiya Hariri estimated an “85 per cent” public response to yesterday’s fund-raising drive for public schools, in which LL1,000 donations were gathered by volunteers working in coordination with the education ministry.
The National Association for Public Schools intends to use the funds to equip the country’s 1,423 kindergarten classrooms in 875 schools before the coming school year, with each classroom costing $1,500.
The association said it would seek to provide computers for classrooms in a second stage, followed by sports facilities.
Mount Lebanon governor Mohammed Yamout began a tour of collection points at Baabda square, continuing to Furn al-Shubbak, Bourj Hammoud, Jounieh and Kesrouan. He said the drive to improve and equip schools was a step in “restoring trust in public institutions”.
Yamout also delivered a cheque in the name of the Bourj Hammoud municipality of LL10m to the campaign.
An estimated 155 schools in the Sidon and Tyre areas participated in the campaign. Commercial and other institutions also made cheque donations.
Donation boxes were also distributed at universities and the association said that all branches of Banque Mediterranée will accept donations. In Nabatieh, association member Dalal Abbas began making the rounds of local public and private schools early in the morning to collect donations.
The region’s education ministry representative, Anwar Daou, said that schools in the occupied strip also took part in the fund-raising drive.
The public responded by a call by Zahle-based banks to contribute to the drive, while the north saw a healthy response at private and public schools.
During the collection drive in Batroun, MP Sayed Aql called on education minister Jean Obeid to focus on raising the standard of public education, and merging schools, which he said are too many compared to the number of students.
A seminar on “the role of society in supporting public schools” was scheduled to take place last night in Tripoli’s Cultural League.
Collection boxes and donations are scheduled to arrive by today in Beirut at the association’s headquarters.
l Donations can be made at any branch of Banque Mediterranée to account number 3858.