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    09-Sep-2019

Teachers’ strike draws mixed reactions from parents, students

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — Following the sit-in that took place last week, teachers on Sunday continued their strike within their schools on Sunday, refraining from giving classes until the government meets their demand for a 50-per cent raise.
 
Randa Mahmoud, whose two daughters go to a public school in Zarqa, told The Jordan Times that she kept her children at home because of the strike.
 
Her daughters were “happy” about their day off on Thursday, but after realising the strike would continue, they felt disappointed because they did not want to miss out on the curriculum and were excited to start studying after the break.
 
“It is not a wrong idea to evaluate teachers based on their performance, but the process has to be just and involve evaluations from the students,” Mahmoud said about an eventual pay raise, noting that the strike should not deprive children from their right to learn.
 
Baraa Awadallah, whose brother and sister go to two different public schools in Marj Al Hammam area, said that she and her family support the strike and believe in the teachers’ right for a raise.
 
Awadallah said they kept the children at home as well because the teachers said that they would keep students in the school’s yard and would not allow them to enter their classrooms.
 
“They are only eight and 10 years old, so they are happy to have another day off, but, of course, we wish for things to be resolved quickly so that students do not miss out on a lot of classes,” she said.
 
Mahmoud Eyad, a 10th grader in a public school in Zarqa, said that he went to school in the morning as usual, and upon arrival saw only around 45 students at the school.
 
“When some of us saw how there were barely any students, they went back home, but I went in, and stayed with the remaining students. They did the morning routine as usual with the national anthem and everything, then they put all of us in the building for less than an hour before they told us to go home,” the student said.
 
“The deputy principal told us that as long as the strike is on, we should stay home and not come to school, unless we hear on the news that the strike is over,” he said, adding that the strike makes him sad “because the tenth grade is crucial for Tawjihi, but I think teachers need their raise”.
 
The hashtag #with_the_teacher (in Arabic) went viral on social media, and a simple Facebook search of the hashtag shows tonnes of posts from schools around the Kingdom in which teachers took pictures of themselves striking at their schools.
 
For example, teachers in a public school in Russeifa posted pictures of themselves thanking parents for complying and not sending their children to school while in turn some parents and others commented on the photos and applauded the teachers for their efforts to voice their demands.
 
Teachers from schools around Karak also posted pictures of themselves holding signs that said: “The teachers’ dignity is a red line”.
 
 

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