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New regulations governing private schools to begin this year

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - Sep 04,2018 - Last updated at Sep 04,2018

The new measure will safeguard the salaries of private school teachers by requiring employers to deposit their salaries electronically through bank transfers or e-wallets (Photo courtesy of Oxford Schools website)

AMMAN — During a meeting with representatives of the Stand Up with Teachers campaign on Monday, Minister of Education Azmi Mahafzah confirmed that the new Regulation of Registration and Licencing of Private and International Schools will begin implementation in the current scholastic year, after its approval by His Majesty King Abdullah, the campaign´s representatives announced in a press conference on Tuesday. 

The new measure, which was endorsed by the government late August, will safeguard the salaries of private school teachers by requiring employers to deposit their salaries electronically through bank transfers or e-wallets. 

“The new regulation guarantees that teachers will receive the salaries they have signed previously with their employers,” International Labour Organisation (ILO) gender consultant, Reem Aslan, told The Jordan Times in a recent interview, adding “e-payments will also ensure that the teachers are enrolled in the Social Security Corporation [SSC] and that they remain registered during the summer break, preventing interruptions in their salary and SSC contribution.”

Co-founder of Stand Up with Teachers, Nareeman Shawaeen introduced the campaign’s strategic plan to ensure the implementation of the new measure, which is set to be executed in cooperation with partners in the Ministry of Education. 

 “Teachers will be educated on the importance of demanding the e-transfer of their salaries and the mechanisms available to submit their complaints in the event the school does not abide by the rule,” Shawaeen said, explaining that the campaign’s representatives will process the complaints presented by the teachers and forward them to the Ministry of Education. 

In turn, the ministry will check the documents provided by the schools and prepare a list of institutions that have failed to abide by the new regulation, which will receive a warning by March. 

“All schools shall prove their commitment to the new system by providing their teachers’ salary transfer statements throughout the academic year,” Shawaeen said, adding that the renewal of the school licence in August of next year will be revoked in the event the school fails to provide the requested documentation. 

“The aim of the system is not to place a burden on employers, but rather to safeguard the rights of both parties,” the activist said. 

Aslan expressed the ILO’s appreciation for the “great achievement attained by the campaign in cooperation with the National Committee for Pay Equity [NCPE]”, stressing that “this is the result of an extensive social dialogue among the labour and education ministries, the SSC and the teachers themselves, as well as the work of the Ahel foundation in organising and empowering the teachers within the campaign”.

The NCPE and the Stand Up with Teachers campaign have lobbied for the new move with the support of the ILO since late 2017, when the Union of Workers of Private Education and the Owners of Private Schools Association signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement that brought new rights to teachers working in Jordan’s private schools.

In March 2018, then minister of education Omar Razzaz announced the ministry’s decision to make all private schools across the Kingdom transfer their teachers’ salaries to their bank accounts, to ensure that all schools adhere to the regulations stipulated by the collective agreement on the working conditions of teachers. 

The announcement came during a meeting organised by the Stand Up with Teachers campaign, where over 60 teachers called on the Ministry of Education to take measures against the violations committed by several private schools regarding the salaries of their employees. 

In august, secretary general of the Ministry of Labour, Hani Khleifat, expressed the Ministry of Labour’s commitment to Razzaz’s decision, saying that the ministry is “working towards signing a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Education and the Social Security Corporation to ensure the implementation of the Labour Law provisions on all workers in the private education sector”.

The official pointed out that the Labour Ministry’s inspection teams recently intensified their efforts to inspect private educational institutions, seeking to ensure that all schools adhere to the regulations.

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