BEIRUT: Education Minister Hassan Diab rejected over the weekend the Union Coordination Committee’s planned boycott next week of marking of exams for Grades 9 and 12.
“I reject – under any condition or reason – that the process of marking exams and announcing exam results be suspended,” said Diab in a statement released on Saturday.
Diab said that he understood the demands of the Union Coordination Committee, a coalition of private and public school teachers and public sector employees, but did not want students to pay the cost of such demands.
He added that “this is the first time such a thing happens which will affect the process of announcing the exam results in a proper manner especially given that exam markers had already finished marking a considerable [number of exams] in a number of subjects.”
Teachers threatened Thursday to resume a boycott of marking official grade 9 and 12 exams after Cabinet failed to keep a promise to increase the salaries of public sector employees in the draft 2012 budget it passed earlier this week.
The Union Coordination Committee called on its constituencies to stage a one-day strike for Tuesday which would include sit-ins near ministries and other state buildings.
The Cabinet passed the 2012 draft budget earlier this week without including the salary scale.
It is currently being studied by a ministerial committee that includes the education, economy, and finance ministers.
The head of UCC, Hana Gharib, complained that his group has not yet been invited to the committee’s Monday meeting.