The 2012-2017 Lebanon’s National Educational Technology Strategic Plan (LNETSP) mentions the term “information and communications technology (ICT)” without defining it. Though it defines “Assistive technologies” in education as “hardware, software, and peripherals that assist people with disabilities in accessing computers or other information technologies, such as screen readers, voice-to-text systems/text-to-voice systems, and Braille readers” and defines the following terms:
Digital competence: involves basic competences in ICT—the use of computers to seek, assess, store, produce, present, exchange information, and communicate and collaborate with networks of learners over the Internet.
Digital learning: any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen the student learning experience. Digital learning encompasses a wide spectrum of tools and practices, including using online and formative assessment, increasing the focus and quality of teaching resources and time, online content and courses, applications of technology in the classroom and school building, adaptive software for students with special needs, learning platforms, participating in professional communities of practice, providing access to a high level and challenging content and instruction, and many other advancements technology provides to teaching and learning.
Digital literacy: in a digital age includes an expanding array of competencies. Students must be functionally literate (in reading, writing, and numeracy), but this literacy extends to the ability to do all of the following: Perform tasks effectively in a digital environment Read print-based, hyperlinked, and multimedia text from a variety of digital tools; Decode and comprehend the messages conveyed by still and moving images; Compose coherent messages in a variety of genres (expository, narrative, persuasive, etc.) using a variety of media (blogs, microblogs, documents, etc.) communicated in a variety of formats (text, video, images, animations, audio, mashups, etc.) for a variety of audiences using language and formats appropriate to those media and audiences; Vet relevant information from a variety of electronic and print-based sources and viewpoints, making sense of it, evaluating it, making educated and informed judgment about it, and communicating understanding and ideas about this information
The 2020- 2025 Strategic Plan for the Development of the Industrial Sector and its Executive Mechanisms refers to the term “EdTech” without defining it.
The 2017-2021 Reaching All Children with Education: RACE II refers to the terms “e-learning”, “e-platform”, and interactive learning content” without defining them.
The 2018 Lebanon Voluntary National Review of SDGs refers to the terms “technology” and “education” in different instances without defining them.
The 2012-2017 Lebanon’s National Educational Technology Strategic Plan (LNETSP) aims to realize the component of harnessing “ICT in education” of the “2011 Lebanon's Education Reform Strategy and Action Plan (LERSAP)” through six pillars: infrastructure, curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional development, and management and leadership.
The 2017-2021 Reaching All Children with Education: RACE II seeks to build on the 2014-2017 RACE I to contribute to furthering equitable learning to school-aged children (03-18) affected by the crisis in Syria. The RACE I project included “the development of an e-learning programme” as “Interactive e-learning can benefit Syrian and Lebanese children alike and ultimately foster better education quality for all” through in a non-formal education pathway to help students enter the formal education system. RACE II referred to revising the curriculum to integrate e-learning and an e-platform that will include digitized textbooks and interactive learning content in schools.
The 2018-2022 National strategic framework for Technical and Vocational Education and Training main objectives includes “the use of information and communication technology (ICT), when possible, to reduce costs and enhance the learning process.”
The 2018-2030 Economic Vision aspires to “become a knowledge-driven digital nation, at the forefront of innovation, acting as a talent hub for technology, outsourcing, creative industries and education” and it aims to revamp the secondary and tertiary curriculum to incorporate technology.
The 2020-2025 National Artificial Intelligence Strategy highlights the importance of developing software to provide interactive education.
The 2020-2024 Lebanese Government's Financial Recovery Plan vision is to “Leverage talent, technology, infrastructure and regulations to build a sustainable and leading knowledge economy and become a knowledge-driven digital nation, at the forefront of innovation, acting as a talent hub for technology, business services and outsourcing, creative industries and education.”
The 2020- 2025 Strategic Plan for the Development of the Industrial Sector and its Executive Mechanisms aims to build an advanced industrialized society that focuses on innovation, development and renewal of the educational system at secondary schools, universities, research centres and technical institutes for a “ to transform into a knowledge-based economy in EdTech, technology, communications” through the cooperation with educational institutions, universities and institutes on research, training and workshops and the provision of support for to establish coding schools.
The 2021-2025 National General Education Plan states that the curriculum will undergo modifications to ensure a harmonious integration of traditional knowledge and contemporary 21st-century skills.
Digital competency frameworks: No information has been found.
Changes occurred as a result of COVID-19: The 2020 COVID-19 Operational Plan and the COVID-2019 Health Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan were launched to respond to the crisis in the education context. According to the 2021-2025 National General Education Plan, “During the COVID-19 crisis schools closed down at the end of February 2020 and remained closed until April 2021: so remote learning was adopted.
2.2.1. Technology infrastructure and digital capacity of schools
Electricity: The 2012-2017 Lebanon’s National Educational Technology Strategic Plan priority pillar: “MEHE should develop and administer a school readiness protocol to assert readiness for ICT that assesses the following areas: Infrastructure: Electricity, Internet access, location of schools near existing Internet backbone, space, security, and structural stability”.
Computers and devices: The 2012-2017 Lebanon’s National Educational Technology Strategic Plan included Objective 1.1.3 to reach a “Minimum 1:4 student-to-computer ratio, with a future target of 1:1: At least 40 % of schools (Tier 3 and 4 schools) will meet the minimum recommended standards of having one digital device for every four students” and Objective 1.1.5 to introduce mobile technology labs through the provision of digital device carts in schools without fixed computer labs.
Internet connectivity: The 2012-2017 Lebanon’s National Educational Technology Strategic Plan dedicated Goal 1.2 to internet connectivity in schools “Approximately 90% of Lebanese schools will have affordable Internet connectivity and access to networks, including wide area networks (WANs) and local area networks (LANs), to support flexible learning options to allow students and teachers to interact with video, online learning opportunities, and digital media that deepen and broaden students’ grasp of a particular content topic (See Figure 14 for one such example).”
2.2.2. Technology and learning environments
The 2021-2025 National General Education Plan states that Lebanon began its remote learning initiative in March 2020, which involved the adoption of three parallel educational approaches: E-learning via different educational and social media platforms, televised lessons via the Lebanese national channel Tele Liban and Youtube Channel “TV broadcast did not continue in 2020/21”, and paper-based learning materials delivered to students' homes.
The implementation of e-learning was broken down into three separate components in the education sector. Firstly, Microsoft Teams was used as a platform for remote learning, resulting in the creation of nearly 400,000 accounts for public school students. Support to private schools was also provided based on their requests, with high levels of engagement. Teachers and IT personnel were trained to use this platform to ensure a smooth transition to remote learning.
Secondly, the Classera learning management system was introduced, though it has not yet been fully rolled out. Finally, the Mawaridi Distance Learning platform was implemented, which hosts graded digital content for students. This platform provides an effective way for students to access educational resources and engage in learning activities, which is particularly important during times of remote learning. The implementation of these e-learning platforms highlights the education sector's efforts to adapt to the digital age and provide innovative ways to deliver quality education.
The COVID-19 response also tools included:
MEHE Lebanon - Official learning application contains information for students, teachers and other education personnel.
The 2021-2025 National General Education Plan affirms that a remote learning approach can be implemented using different channels, especially an online platform that can be utilized as a contingency plan in case of future school closures or as supplementary support for learning. This approach can also offer teachers and students more suitable content and tailored materials. Additionally, the utilization of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be a potent tool for enhancing and reinforcing teacher training opportunities “Promotion of remote learning under COVID-19 conditions is encouraging the development of more IT infrastructure, and more digital teaching and learning”.
The 2021-2025 National General Education Plan also refers to the long-term 2021 National Action Plan for Remote Learning (NAPRL) that must be continually updated to reflect the most recent context. The objective of the National Action Plan for Remote Learning (2021) is to improve the quality of remote education and enhance teachers' competencies to achieve better learning outcomes for students. This plan involves two primary agencies: the Pre- and In-service Training Bureau (PITB) of the Centre for Educational Research and Development, which provides various training programmes for teachers and educational staff such as face-to-face, asynchronous and synchronous, and online self-paced modules, and the Direction of Pedagogical and School Orientation (Direction d’orientation pédagogique et scolaire) provides coaching, which offers face-to-face and synchronous coaching for teachers.
The 2012-2017 Lebanon’s National Educational Technology Strategic Plan (LNETSP) included “Goal 3.4: that aims to integrate technology and high-quality instruction, students will become digital-age learners.” Objective 3.4.2 and 3.4.5 of this goal targets the attainment of digital-age skills and technology competencies: “Students will engage in learning activities that foster creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, and critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making”. However, there is no specific framework for learners’ digital competencies.
The 2020 National Student Learning Assessment Framework (NSLAF) states that one of the current core skills in the Lebanese curriculum is Digital Literacy “The status and value of these core skills will be raised when they become part of a formal assessment process”.
As for the curriculum, the LNETSP objective 3.1.3 states that technology will be aligned with the curriculum, instruction, and assessment “In all content areas and in all grade levels, align technology with curricular objectives, instructional activities, and assessment to support deep learning.”
The 2018 Lebanon Voluntary National Review of SDGs mentions that two initiatives were launched " to support the innovation ecosystem in the country”: 1) “Summer of Innovation” that promotes youth to participate in extracurricular activities in innovation, science, technology, and the 2) “Public School Innovation Gate” that connects public schools to the internet and sets up tech hubs in them.
The 2020-2025 National Artificial Intelligence Strategy aims to “Introduce AI courses in educational and academic institutions in Lebanon, and focus on scientific specializations such as economy, data management, and STEM subjects to stimulate and develop students' skills.
The 2021-2025 National General Education Plan includes, as an objective, the enhancement of the K-12 curricula by utilizing a competency-based curriculum approach that emphasizes the development of digital skills. Additionally, the new curriculum will adopt a STEAM approach that integrates meaningful math, science, and technology content to enable students to solve real-world problems through hands-on learning activities and creative design processes.
The 2018-2022 National strategic framework for Technical and Vocational Education and Training mentions that the National Pedagogic Institute for Technical Education (Institut Pédagogique National de l’Enseignement Technique – IPNET) provides pre-service teacher training. The training does not mention digital skills.
Objective 3.3.4 “Achieve technology competencies” of the 2012-2017 Lebanon’s National Educational Technology Strategic Plan (LNETSP) states that “Teachers will attain the technology proficiencies defined by the National Education Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) and UNESCO’s ICT Competency Framework for Teachers, both of which will be adapted to the Lebanese context.”
The 2021-2025 National General Education Plan states that the Lebanese University is the only public university providing Pre-service Learning (training) by the Faculty of Education for secondary education. The Center for Educational Research and Development “via its Pre, and In-Service Training Bureau-PITB, provides training in thirty-three resource centres across Lebanon. They also collaborate with other educational institutions to provide specialized training on IT literacy and ICT in education”. Preschool and basic education initial training is led by PITB.
The 2021-2025 National General Education Plan priority area 3 is to ensure renovated learning spaces that are well-equipped with IT infrastructure and to “provide opportunities for teachers and students to access and benefit from digital teaching and learning resources to support learning”.
2.4.1. Data privacy
The 2018 Law No. 81 on Electronic Transaction and Personal Data contains provisions on data protection that are applicable in the Republic of Lebanon, but does not specify education and school, only “natural person’s data”.
2.4.2. Online abuse and cyberbullying
The 2012-2017 Lebanon’s National Educational Technology Strategic Plan (LNETSP) included “Ethical Uses of Technology” in its Objective 2.3.7 “Students will demonstrate the responsible, legal, and ethical use of information resources, digital communication tools, computers, and other technologies”. Though it did not refer explicitly to online abuse and cyberbullying.
The 2020 Decree n° 247 states that all levels of education fall under the authority of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE). The Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD) is a public institution with administrative and financial autonomy, established through 1971 Decree #2356. Its role is to conduct educational modernization and development. The organization is accountable to the Minister of Education and Higher Education, who serves as the custodial authority. The Pre- and In-service Training Bureau (PITB) of the CERD provides digital literacy training for teachers.
Those two main entities coordinate the integration of technology in education policies and programmes.
The 2012-2017 Lebanon’s National Educational Technology Strategic Plan mentions that “Mobile devices include laptops, netbooks, tablets, and smartphones. Mobility means using technology to accommodate students, faculty, and staff regardless of time and space. It is the ability to access digital resources that are not restricted to a physical location. To be mobile in a digital age means that students and teachers can keep their chosen devices with them at all times, and that the devices work wherever they happen to be”.