Lebanese man sets himself on fire over daughter’s unpaid tuition fees

Lebanese father sets himself on fire

An investigation is underway into the death of a Lebanese man who set himself on fire after an argument over his daughter’s unpaid tuition fees, according to the state-run Lebanese National News Agency.

The man, identified by local media as George Zreik, set himself ablaze outside of a private elementary school in the village of Bkeftine in Koura. He was transported to the hospital where he died of severe burns.

Zreik reportedly visited the school to request his daughter’s school documents to transfer to a public school. The school director refused to provide the documents due to unpaid fees, the National News Agency reported.

In a statement, the private Orthodox school said Zreik had not paid tuition, transportation and registration fees since 2015. They school went on to say they attempted to express sympathy with his financial situation.

Bkeftine is a village in the Koura District of Lebanon. (Google Maps)
Bkeftine is a village in the Koura District of Lebanon. (Google Maps)

Lebanese Education Minister Akram Chehayeb has opened a state-conducted investigation into the private school and Zreik’s death.

The government has pledged to cover the cost of education for his children.

An estimated two-thirds of Lebanese students now attend costly private schools, and public schools have become the last resort for families without means, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development, which provides financial support to help improve the quality of education in Lebanon.

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