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Time to talk!

Sep 11,2019 - Last updated at Sep 11,2019

No one disagrees that preserving the dignity of the teacher is a collective responsibility. And the government should look for future solutions to improve their living conditions. The Jordanian Teacher Association (JTA) must also pay attention to the deterioration in the quality of education and the terrifying spread of private lessons and tutoring that exhausted parents amid complete silence from the JTA, which did not lift a finger!

Back to the teachers’ sit-in last week, I, honestly, did not expect the JTA to have such a level of political opportunism and to move away from the core of its mission to teach the good values to our future generations, and to encourage the language of dialogue, logic and wisdom in resolving any problem without disrupting the interests of people.

Indeed, teachers' sit-in last week was a political blackmail message encapsulated with living demands that never take into account the difficult economic conditions that Jordan is going through. What is more dangerous is that people behind the sit-in are trying to manipulate the system of social stability and to mix cards after a two-month school holiday.

The time the JTA called for a sit-in was the pinnacle of opportunism. It came right after the first day of the beginning of the new school year, and few days after the teachers were saddened enormously by the sudden death of JTA President Ahmed Hajaya, who passed away in a tragic car accident on the desert road. Practically speaking, this sit-in is considered a negative exploitation of people’s feelings in general, and the feelings of teachers in particular.  

 In Jordanian traditions, school attendance and the beginning of school year is a season of joy and happiness to achieve promising dreams of a bright future. Everyone should be fully aware that schools should not be arenas for political battles, and students should never be used to achieve populist gains, or a way to pass a narrow party’s agenda to regain the declining presence of some political parties on the Jordanian street.

Agonisingly, breaking the will and the image of the state was the ultimate goal of last Thursday’s sit-in. But disturbing the interests of the people is totally unacceptable. Rights are not gained by threat, nor by disturbing schools and preventing kids from going to schools, which is not on the list of those who respect democratic values. 

In Jordan, a country of institutions and law, everyone respects their responsibilities, and the government did well by inviting teachers to talk and to discuss the demands of teachers on the negotiation table. Therefore, the JTA should live up to its national responsibilities and accept the government's call away from bullying, and should not use our kids as fuel for a battle with the government. Dialogue is the only way to overcome the crisis of teachers.

At the end, will the JTA respond to the voice of wisdom and raise the supreme interest of Jordan over private interests?

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