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Citizens hail pupils’ participation in olive harvest season

By Renad Aljadid - Sep 13,2018 - Last updated at Sep 14,2018

AMMAN — Prime Minister Omar Razzaz’s recent remarks on the school students’ participation in the coming olive harvest season was warmly welcomed by parents and stakeholders, hailed as a useful occupation for local youth.

While some citizens expressed scepticism over the idea on social media platforms, many commended the initiative which they said would employ the youth’s energy in something useful “instead of hanging out in the streets doing nothing”. 

During a lecture at the University of Jordan earlier this week, Razzaz said: “Jordan will not be in need for thousands of guest workers for the coming harvest season in October,” as he announced an agreement with the Education Ministry to recruit students for the olive harvest and the olive oil production processes.

Stressing the importance of this participation in fostering students’ sense of belonging to their land, he said this will prove “more effective than reading a chapter from the national education book”.

Sameh Ali, a father of six, expressed his enthusiasm for the initiative and his willingness to encourage his children to take part in it.

“Nothing teaches reasonability better than working with your own hands,” Ali told The Jordan Times, adding: “It is very important for our children to appreciate the olive and the olive oil, which are not only important products to the Jordanian economy, but a national heritage and part of our identity.”

For his 14-year-old son, Ahmed, “going to the fields and trying the real experience of farming is way more fun than the in-class activities”.

The recruitment of students instead of guest workers will save about 35 to 40 per cent of the olive production costs, President of the Jordan Olive Products Exporters Association Fayyadh Zyoud was quoted by Khaberni as saying, stressing the association’s keenness on taking all the necessary measure and arrangements to implement this project.

Zyoud added that the student’s participation in the harvest seasons is a common practice worldwide, describing the project as a “a long-awaited one”.

For her part, Minister of State for Media Affair Jumana Ghunaimat was quoted by some news websites as saying that the students’ participation in the harvest season will be paid.  

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