Though nationwide efforts to achieve universal primary education (UPE) have been advancing, the country still faces serious challenges impeding the advancement of the national education system. Since the events of 2011, Libya has suffered from lack of security and instability causing negative repercussion on the education system in terms of delivery, outreach, coverage, retention, quality, efficiencies and effectiveness.
According to the latest statistics from UNOCHA, nearly 300,000 children and youth have been denied access to education as a result of displacement and ongoing conflict, with over 558 schools damaged, destroyed or requisitioned to shelter displaced persons or being used for military purposes.
Currently pressing challenges include, but are not limited to, limited institutional capacities to handle educational sector policy, planning and management, including systematic monitoring and effective use of information for decision-making, which have been further weakened by the prevailing conflicts. Available data are mostly outdated with some going back to the mid-1980s. Lack of key educational data and indicators is a prevailing challenge to assessing the current status of the education system.
Addressing the large-scale system development needs in Libya is indeed a strategic education priority for UNESCO.
Challenges and Opportunities
Educational needs have dramatically increased and are underfunded, while operational and policy formulation environments continue to remain extremely fragile and volatile. Based on the OCHA Financial Tracking Services (FTS), the overall appeal to respond to the crisis in Libya has only been 27.8% funded (roughly USD 48 million), while only 23.4% (roughly USD 1.6 million) of education requests for immediate and urgent needs have been funded.
Despite these challenges, there are important windows of opportunities for UNESCO to seize, such as:
•High potent of establishing a self-benefiting funding mechanism
•SDG 4 – linking the humanitarian and development nexus
•Political and societal willingness to act from almost all relevant parties.