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After a last-minute deal following a tense stand-off over a disputed pay raise bill, middle school children across Lebanon Friday began the first day of exams that will determine whether they are admitted into secondary school next year.Hussein Khamis, 15, said it wasn't a big difference if the exams were Friday or Thursday.After one delay and the threat of another, Education Minister Elias Bou Saab reached a deal with the Union Coordination Committee late Tuesday to postpone the start of official exams from Thursday to Friday despite the failure of Parliament to pass the wage hike. While the deal might bring relief to students anxious to get the exams out of the way, the teachers have not agreed to grade the tests, holding out for their raises and setting up more waiting this summer for the results. Hassan Tannir said he had been studying between 14 and 16 hours a day for the test.Official exams for Grade 12 are scheduled for next week and the week after.
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