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Teachers' strike enters 10th day stuck in neutral

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Sep 19,2019 - Last updated at Sep 19,2019

AMMAN — Concerns as well as support continue to stream in from the public as the teachers' strike entered its tenth day on Thursday.

Talks resumed on Wednesday between teachers and the government over ending the strike after a week of deadlock. The Jordan Teachers Association (JTA) announced that the strike is ongoing until a final agreement is reached on their demand for a 50-per cent raise.

Jamil Saadeh, whose son started Tawjihi (the general secondary education certificate exam) this year, told The Jordan Times on Thursday that he "fully supports the strike", but is concerned about all the Tawjihi students, as this year is crucial for their future. 

"I wish Tawjihi was not part of the strike, because it decides the fate of students, while previous grades can be handled once things are settled, which I hope will be soon," Saadeh added.

Batool Shahroury, whose only daughter is in fourth grade, used to take her to school and have enough time to complete house errands and chores, but now that is not possible anymore.

"I am honestly not with the strike, nor am I against it, I just want my daughter to go school normally, regardless of how it all ends," Shahroury said.

Teachers all around the world are paid their salary even during their up-to-three-month summer break, which is a common argument against the strike, explained teacher Yazan Kamal. 

He added: "It is not like we sit down and do nothing during this break, we have to work on certificates, we prepare for the coming year and many of us find jobs during the break in order to add to our main salary so that we can afford to live a decent life."

Another teacher, who asked to remain anonymous, said, "the only public-sector profession where people take their work home with them is teaching; accountants in public directorates do not take their work home, for example, but teachers have to grade papers, prepare lessons and do a lot at home."

Dialogue continues between the Jordan Teachers Association and the government, and public discussion is ongoing on social media and in real life. The future of the strike is still unclear.

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