A Palestinian teacher holds a sign that reads "Teacher's dignity, we will continue" during a protest demanding better pay and conditions, in the West Bank city of Ramallah March 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
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For a month, more than 25,000 teachers in the occupied West Bank have been on strike over pay and benefits, causing chaos for schools, pupils and parents, and prompting the Palestinian Authority to deploy military police on the streets of Ramallah.And yet, if Palestinian officials have any doubts about the quality of some of the teachers they employ, they need look no further than Hanan al-Hroub of Bethlehem, who is in the running to win $1 million this week for being the world's best teacher.In Ramallah, where the Palestinian administration is based, thousands of teachers have thronged the downtown area since Feb. 10, protesting against low pay and the fact they receive far fewer benefits than other government employees.It marks one of the most serious and extended strikes in the Palestinian territories and has resulted in more than 540,000 students sitting at home or roaming the streets, their initial enjoyment of a few days off school now turning to frustration.Naeem Bozeyah, who has a master's degree in mathematics and has taught the subject for 20 years, says his basic salary is frozen at 2,660 shekels a month ($680), barely enough to provide for his wife and family, including three children at university.
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