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Ministry invites students to return to schools despite ongoing teachers’ strike

Teachers say their strike ongoing

By JT - Sep 30,2019 - Last updated at Sep 30,2019

The Education Ministry on Monday instructed principals to invite students back to schools (Al Rai photo)

AMMAN — The Education Ministry on Monday sent circulars to public school principals across the Kingdom, instructing them to invite students to return to their schools. 

The abiding circular is in compliance with the Administrative Court's ruling, issued on Sunday, ordering an "immediate" suspension to teachers' nationwide strike following a lawsuit filed by parents, Education Minister Walid Maani said on Monday in an official letter carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

The ministry also instructed education directors to make substitute instructors available should striking teachers fail to report for work in implementation of the Civil Service Bylaw, according to Petra.

Later in the day, in an interview with Jordan Television, Maani said that the ministry’s measures, which call on parents to send their children to school, “do not seek to punish or deprive, but rather restore our schools back to normal and resume the educational process”.  

Referring to the administrative court’s ruling, Maani said: “It is our duty to abide by the decision, failing to implement it would result in penalties that may include jail time.” 

In a statement, Minister of State for Legal Affairs Mubarak Abu Yamin said that the interim relief judge’s ruling to temporarily suspend the strike “must be implemented as issued”, noting that the Law Interpretation Bureau had already deemed the strike to be in violation of the law. Meanwhile, the Jordan Teachers Association (JTA) announced late on Monday that the nationwide strike is ongoing, calling on its members to abide by the decision and "ignore all circulars" from the government.

The JTA again said that the strike, which began on September 8, is legal and that the Administartive Court's ruling is not abiding as it can be challenged.

A number of education directorates affirmed their readiness to implement the alternative plans set to ensure that classes are resumed, noting that the lists of substitute teachers have been prepared for immediate hiring, Petra added.

The ministry also said it has received a number of complaints from parents concerning their children’s dismissal from public schools on Monday. In response, the ministry launched a hotline (06/5699916) for receiving complaints, stressing that measures will be taken against violators.

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Sunday urged parents to send their children back to schools, underling that his government will implement the court ruling on teachers' nationwide strike.

The government has offered to grant teachers a pay raise ranging between JD24 and JD31 to take effect on October 1 should the strike end, but the JTA refused, insisting on their demand of a 50-per cent pay raise.

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