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Return to online education reignites argument of ‘fair private school fees‘

By Maram Kayed - Oct 07,2020 - Last updated at Oct 07,2020

AMMAN — The ministry intends on holding meetings with private schools to find consensus ground with regard to school fees, Minister of Education Tayseer Nuaimi said in a statement.

The Ministry of Education on Tuesday decided to suspend in-school education and switch to the distance learning system, reigniting talk about parents’ demanding lower fees for online learning.

When schools went online for the first time back in March, parents launched a campaign demanding bus fees and tuition fees to be reduced given the nature of online learning.

Many parents were dissatisfied with the quality of online learning that some private schools offered, claiming that they ended up teaching their children themselves.

“I do not think it is fair for me to pay JD2,000 to JD3,000 per child only for me to basically homeschool my kids,” Rama Obeidat, a mother, told The Jordan Times over the phone.

Obeidat noted that even though the school developed a system in which classes would start at 2pm for the lower grades, as to give parents a chance to monitor the classes when they are back from work, she ended up teaching her third-grade son on her own.

“For one thing, not all moms and dads finish work at 2pm as I personally finish at 5pm and my husband finishes at 7pm. Not only that, but also my son wakes up very early and is usually exhausted by noon, so his classes beginning this late was more of a problem than a solution,” she added.

Other parents such as Basil Darwish, father of three daughters, said that the meeting between the Ministry and private school owners is “crucial”.

“When parents asked my daughters’ private schools to lower their fees, their reply was a very disrespectful e-mail, the gist of which was ‘if we have to pay the teachers in full then we have to be paid in full too,” said Darwish.

In a Facebook comment on news of the meeting, Darwish said he “hoped the meeting comes to a sensible solution that helps parents through this crisis, as well as, maintain the rights of teachers and the profits of school owners”.

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