Over 1.2 million Libyan pupils have returned to school, nearly a year after they evacuated their classrooms during the country’s popular uprising against the regime of Muammar al-Qadhafi, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The international agency says about 27 million textbooks are being printed by Libya’s education ministry and 10 million have already been distributed in anticipation of the return to school.
But a shortage of both books and desks remain, and transport to and from school is also lacking for many children.
Libyan authorities, supported by UNICEF and others, have worked to clear rubble, landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) from schools and to rehabilitate many of the buildings and other infrastructure.
Children who have been distressed by the conflict have been given psycho-social support and mechanisms are in place to ensure that vulnerable children are enrolled in classes.
A survey will also take place later this month to amass data on equipment, supplies, teaching materials, teachers and enrollment.
UNICEF reported that Libya has relatively good education indicators, but the country’s school system needs to be more responsive to minorities, children with disabilities and gender disparities.