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Social media suspension during Tawjihi hours draws flak

By Batool Ghaith - Jul 19,2022 - Last updated at Jul 19,2022

Representative image (Photo courtesy of unsplash.com/Camilo Jimenez)

AMMAN — Internet suspensions for social media applications during Tawjihi (the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination) hours from June 30 to July 25 have sparked anger among many Jordanians on social media platforms.

At the request of the Ministry of Education, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) announced on June 30 that social media services would be suspended during the high school exam period, but communication and Internet services would not be affected. 

“This measure was taken several years ago during the high school exams. The suspension is mostly affecting the towers near the schools where the examination halls are located. The applications resume working as usual after the exam ends every day,” the TRC statement said.

Jordan Open Source Association (JOSA), a community-based non-profit organisation that promotes openness in technology and defends the rights of technology users in Jordan, opposed the decision of the ministry to suspend social media applications, describing it as a violation of citizens’ rights.

“The ministry violates the principles of the rule of law by deviating from the Jordanian Constitution, which guarantees rights and freedoms. The constitutional text expressly prohibits stopping means of communication without a judicial order,” a JOSA statement on Instagram read.

Many Jordanians took to social media platforms to express their discontent with the ministry’s decision.

Lana Rami, a Jordanian citizen, told The Jordan Times that the social media suspension affects her communication with people, especially for work.

“It does not make sense to suspend social  media for all users to prevent cheating, there should be more efficient ways for the ministry to solve this issue without affecting everyone,” she said.

Hamza Momani, an Instagram user posted on his page in Arabic that “Suspending social media applications affects the course of online work and my communication with colleagues and clients when we cannot make calls”. 

Tayma, tweeted on her Twitter page that “disrupting the means of communication for no reason affects the daily workflow and necessary communications, especially for workers from home, as I am cut off from the beneficiaries of my project, clients and all my employees for hours, which can cause many errors”.

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