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Teachers syndicate says ministry regulations ‘disrespectful’ in tone

By Dana Al Emam - Mar 24,2015 - Last updated at Mar 24,2015

AMMAN — The Education Ministry’s recent list of instructions to teachers is “improper in style and content”, the Jordan Teachers Association (JTA) charged on Tuesday.

The recently released regulations ban teachers and administrative staff from smoking or drinking coffee and tea in classrooms and hallways, and require students and teachers to hand their cell phones to the principal’s office before classes start.

“The ministry did not choose the words and the ideas wisely,” JTA Spokesperson Ayman Okour said, adding that the rules regarding smoking and drinking coffee “are not new”.

Okour’s major disagreement was with the article on mobile phones.

He said the language used in addressing educators should be “more tactful”, suggesting that teachers be asked to switch their phones off instead of handing them over.

The regulations also state that students must commit to wearing their school uniform and that principals and their assistants at schools where no student passed the General Secondary Certificate Examination (Tawjihi) will not be allowed to monitor or correct the exams.

In addition, the instructions state that the ministry will hold unified exams for ninth graders in the English and Arabic languages as well as maths, in addition to exams in the two languages, maths and science for sixth graders, and that the results of the exams will be official.

Moreover, the ministry will hold exams for Tawjihi students at the education directorate level in the English and Arabic languages as well as in chemistry, physics and maths, the results of which will be officially counted.

“Some of the instructions are difficult to apply practically, and should be issued at the very beginning of the semester, including those on examinations and uniforms,” Okour told The Jordan Times over the phone.

The JTA supports procedures to regulate and develop the educational process, he said, reiterating that it is the right of students to benefit from classes.

“All employees at public departments should receive similar directions that encourage them to commit to their jobs,” Okour added, noting that singling out teachers could be understood as disrespectful.

Education Ministry Spokesperson Walid Jallad could not be reached for comment.

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