Lebanon/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.1 Institutional overview

Culture and education go hand in hand in Lebanon; Lebanese curricula try to associate these two cognitive tributaries to form the Lebanese citizen personality. A student starts to learn how to express his/her thoughts and feelings. Since the first stage, the study course focuses on painting, decorative drawing, singing, music and dance in every stage and defines the means used to raise students' interest and benefit.  

The first stage course does not exceed one hour per week and additional hours can be added. There are, also, religion, civics, history and geography in order to have better communication and to know moral values, order and law. Also, to know more about nature, plains, mountains, volcanoes, forests, storms, planets and stars, as well as the ancient history: Elissa, founder of Carthage, Saladin, Fakhruddin and World War I and II. Also, to study the ancient ages: Pharaohs, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arab, Abbasid, Umayyad, Islam, the history of Europe and the Renaissance, independence of Arab countries, the Palestinian cause and Lebanon place in this cause, then, to study Lebanon's history and the Continents. Later on, teaching literature, sciences and mathematics starts to raise artistic and literary taste and to develop the imagination and thinking ability. Then there are philosophy and psychology in the secondary stage.

We see that the subjects taught at these stages in Lebanese schools qualify students intellectually and give them the ability to study and know. Sciences, for example, are not production means, but mainly means of education. Knowing languages is, by itself, the first and most important means for human communication. Additionally, there is overlapping between culture and education in Lebanese private and public universities, where there are various specializations, but within most specializations there is the general culture subject, which includes scientific and technical developments, which made a revolution in science and thought.

Details of curricula content of Music, Theatre, Fine Arts have been issued by the Educational Center for Research and Development at the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sport and delivered to the Ministry of Education to be used in the Lebanese Republic by Memo 32/m/97. It was determined for the following academic years:

1997-1998: The first and second kindergartens – the first, fourth, seventh, and the first secondary one, experimentally.

1998-1999: the first, fourth and seventh, and the first secondary one – the second, fifth and eighth, and the second secondary one, experimentally.

1999-2000: the second, fifth and eighth, and the second secondary one – the third, sixth and ninth, and the third secondary one, experimentally.

2000-2001: the third, sixth and ninth, and the third secondary one.

These subjects include music playing and teaching to improve class and to introduce the learners to the music playing properties, music history, main players and composers, and music theories. The subjects are distributed to the two basic education stages: primary and intermediate; they included assessment means and learning objectives.

The Theatre subject contains details of a curriculum issued by Decree 10227 on 8 May 1997 for the primary and intermediate stages of basic education and for secondary education. Objectives: teach physical and intellectual flexibility, imagination and innovation skills, acceptance of participation and teamwork. This includes improvisation exercises, introduction to kinds of theatrical performances and acting: voice expression, physical expression, collective expression and scene acting.


  • Text: writing and techniques of dramatic writing.
  • Show: design show elements, show organizing.
  • Theatrical culture: history of theatre, kinds of the show arts, theatre life. Artistic tasting and sense of criticism – practice of theatrical criticism, and there are guidelines for teachers on Theatre subject.
  • Plastic Arts: content of the curriculum issued by Decree 10227 on 8 May 1997 for the primary and intermediate stage of primary education and secondary education.  Learners use artistic carriers as a space to acquire the concepts of field and its kinds. Children recognize the relations between objects and derived shapes. They recognize the volumes through the activities of drawing shapes and derive new volumes. They recognize kinds of area and interpret their ideas and feelings. The 2D and 3D concept. Imagination and its relationship with art, ideas, feelings and emotions. Visual objects: human body and movements. Human face. Common principles of painting and photography, on one hand, and sculpture and handicrafts, on the other hand. Art culture: basics of reading an artistic work and its line, color, geometric and rhythmic formations. Criteria of artistic understanding of peoples. Brief of fine arts schools and fine arts in Lebanon. However, the concern about teaching, painting, and plastic art in Lebanese school is of a minor importance and has not received the attention it deserves both in terms of practice hours as well as numbers of teachers and provision of equipment.


Additionally, the Faculty of Education / Lebanese University used to teach theatre, fine arts and music at special departments with the aim of graduating qualified teachers to teach art subjects at school, but the Theatre and Fine Arts Departments were closed in 2001 under the pretext that the Arts Institute of the Lebanese University graduates specialists in directing, acting and fine arts. 


Chapter published: 04-05-2016