BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Lebanese teachers stand firm on boycott

Students attend their official exams at a school in Beirut, Tuesday, June 17, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: School teachers ruled out any compromise to allow the grading of official exams to go forward Sunday, rejecting growing pressure from politicians to end their ongoing boycott of the process.

The Association of Secondary School Teachers and the committee overseeing official exams announced that no correction would take place before settling the controversial salary scale issue.

The committee overseeing official exams reaffirmed “its united and independent stand with the UCC in continuing the boycott of correction of exams so that we can settle our rights from the salary scale.”

The statement pointed out that the UCC’s boycott was not spontaneous, but followed three years of relying on democratic procedures to settle the salary scale.

“The people who should take responsibility are those who did not give us our rights despite continuous promises that haven’t been achieved till now,” the statement said.

The convened members said that giving statements of success to all students was unethical and unjustified, calling the policy an assault on the Lebanese official degree.

Education Minister Elias Bou Saab Friday gave protesting teachers one last chance to grade official examinations or risk losing a key negotiating card, saying he would issue certificates of passing to all students.

At a news conference after meeting members of the UCC, Bou Saab said he would give the order to issue the passing certificates and called for the grading committee to begin correcting exams by Monday.

Earlier this week, the Cabinet backed Bou Saab’s decision to issue the certificates, tasking the minister to take all necessary measures to help students in their admission to colleges and high schools. Bou Saab will hold one final meeting with a UCC delegation Monday.

Should teachers begin correcting exams Monday, the decision to issue the certificates would be canceled.

The UCC has been rallying for the public sector wage hike for three years now, calling for a 121 percent increase in salaries for civil servants and teachers, as well as the other benefits.

Parliament has failed to pass the pay raise due to disagreement and lack of quorum, and recent comments by lawmakers from all parties confirmed that the draft law would not be passed anytime soon.

 

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Summary

School teachers ruled out any compromise to allow the grading of official exams to go forward Sunday, rejecting growing pressure from politicians to end their ongoing boycott of the process.

The statement pointed out that the UCC's boycott was not spontaneous, but followed three years of relying on democratic procedures to settle the salary scale.

Education Minister Elias Bou Saab Friday gave protesting teachers one last chance to grade official examinations or risk losing a key negotiating card, saying he would issue certificates of passing to all students.

At a news conference after meeting members of the UCC, Bou Saab said he would give the order to issue the passing certificates and called for the grading committee to begin correcting exams by Monday.


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