Libya: Education Minister Arrested for Lack of Textbooks

Libya’s education minister has been arrested in connection with an investigation into a shortage of school textbooks.

Libya’s Prosecution Service said in a statement that Education Minister Musa al-Muqarif was arrested on Monday and was being held under “probable negligence” investigations, according to the French news agency AFP.

The statement said that the Public Prosecution has initiated an inquiry to determine the modalities of the textbook printing agreement, the current situation in this regard and the reasons for the shortage of textbooks.

He further added that several other officials, including the Minister for Planning, were also wanted for questioning in the case.

It should be noted that since the time of Muammar Gaddafi, Libyan authorities have allocated a budget to provide free textbooks to every student at the beginning of the school year in September.

However, there is still a shortage of textbooks this year, forcing students to make photocopies of a few textbooks per class. Many students were not provided with textbooks until mid-December.

Zakia Abdel Samad, secretary of a medical clinic in Tripoli, said: “My three children are in primary school and it costs hundreds of dinars to copy books for each class. This is a huge expense.

In Libya, on the other hand, many stationery and office supplies have taken advantage of the situation to sell more expensive copies of books.

Prior to Musa al-Muqarrif’s arrest, the Ministry of Education had accused the Libyan curriculum of delaying the complex process of reuniting in 2014 after preparing different versions of the key divisions between East and West.


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