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Schools stage protests to denounce assault on educators

Marka incident refuels demand of adequate protection for teachers

By Sawsan Tabazah - Apr 20,2017 - Last updated at Apr 20,2017

In this handout photo dated on Thursday, a teacher prepares a placard ahead of a protest against an attack targeting a school, which reads: ‘Safety of teachers is a red line’ (Photo courtesy of Jordan Teachers Association)

AMMAN — Several schools around the Kingdom on Thursday morning arranged sit-ins to condemn Wednesday's assault on Amman's Marqab secondary school by a student's family and relatives, a phenomenon that stakeholders have failed to curb. 

A student's family members on Wednesday attacked a teacher, the school's princapl and facilities of east Amman's Marqab school, located in Marka District, the Jordanian Teachers Association said in a statement. The group allegedly launched an attack with rocks, sticks and sharp tools, injuring educators and smashing one teacher’s car. 

The incident is believed to be a result of a dispute between a student and his teacher, which led to the altercation between the student's father, two of his brothers and the educator in his office, police said, adding that five other family members later arrived in the scene and took part in the assault on the teacher and his vehicle.

The Public Security Department (PSD) announced that seven assaulters had been referred to the attorney general, following an investigation on Thursday.

The attorney general ordered four of them in custody for assaulting a teacher violently and causing damage to public properties, while three others were referred to the administrative governor office for punitive procedures, the PSD statement added. 

Many teachers denounced the incident and allocated their first hour of class on Thursday to discuss teachers’ role in the educational process and to raise awareness about teachers’ respect and dignity.

Amer Al Fadel, a teacher at Jerash's Sakeb Primary School, which held a morning protest against the incident, commented on Facebook: “Teachers build generations yet are rewarded by assaults,” describing the action as "criminal".

Shabeeb Fuqahaa, an Arabic teacher in Akef Al Fayez Primary School for Boys in Amman, said the assault on teachers was an “irresponsible and uncivilised behaviour”.

“It is considered a moral defect in a group of people and it does not represent the whole community’s behaviour” Fuqahaa added. 

For his part, Faisal Tayeh, principal of the same school, deemed the situation “difficult”, noting that teachers are the pillar of the educational system, and that any assault on them is a “trespass” on this system. 

“I think it is not only the schools’ or the ministry’s responsibility but the community’s as well... Teachers are facing hard times because of those irresponsible actions,” Tayeh noted. 

Director of Amman’s first education directorate, Abdul Kareem Yamani, ministry officials and PSD personnel visited Marqab school on Thursday. 

In a phone interview with The Jordan Times, Yamani denounced the attack and stressed on the importance to respect teachers’ dignity. 

 

“The judicial process will take its course,” he said, noting that the situation is now under control at the school.

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