Open Letter To The Lebanese Government: Justice For Our Teachers

I graduated from high school after 15 years of schooling and learning from patient, dedicated, cultured individuals. This allowed me to move on and I am now a holder of two Phds and, I am told, I am making a difference in the world of medicine and healthcare. I hope so. But the only reason why I, and others like me, can do that is because of our school teachers.

Had it not been for that nursery teacher who taught me to read and write, the math teacher who taught me to think in abstract terms, the language teacher who taught me to express myself and understand others, to analyze, put my thoughts into words and appreciate their power, the science teacher who taught me how to understand the universe, the social studies teacher who taught me about my country, other countries, civics, and justice.. Yes, justice. Today, it saddens me to say that this very concept, justice, has betrayed the teachers who taught us to understand it.

We raise our kids and put them in schools so that they find a career. They get there because of school teachers, and how do we pay them back? Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, Members of the Parliament, doctors, scientists, lawyers, journalists, and others, I ask you to take one moment and introspect. One moment only: had it not been for your school teachers (and of course parents) would you be where you are now?

School teachers should be able to lead a decent life, pay their bills comfortably and take some time off. They should be able to live with dignity. Ignoring this is outright betrayal.

Founding Director, Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program- American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center