Students take official exams at a school in Beirut, Friday, June 13, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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After a last-minute deal following a tense standoff over a disputed pay raise bill, more than 90,000 middle school children across Lebanon Friday began the first day of tests that will determine whether they are admitted to secondary school.The test, originally scheduled for June 5, was delayed after the teachers threatened to paralyze the official government exam process unless Parliament approved long-sought higher wages.Melissa Machaaliny said she wasn't very worried about the test.Hasan Tannir said he had been studying between 14 and 16 hours a day for the test.After the exam, Tannir said he would spend the day outdoors with his friends.In the north, 12,924 students sat for the Brevet exam, with only 320 recorded absences.Nahla Hamati Nehme, the head of the educational district of north Lebanon, toured different test sites in Tripoli, commenting on the calm, professional atmosphere maintained by the exam proctors. While the UCC deal may have brought relief to students anxious to get the exams out of the way, the teachers have not yet agreed to grade the tests, raising the risk of a long wait this summer for the results.
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