BEIRUT: The head of the Union Coordination Committee Hanna Gharib said Friday the coalition is seeking a one-month delay in Lebanese official exams for Grade 9 and 12 students.
“Right now we are working on postponing the official exams by around one month to allow students to complete the curriculum,” Gharib told the local television channel Al-Jadid.
His remarks came as the UCC called off its month-long strike after the Cabinet decided in a marathon session Thursday to refer the long-awaited public sector pay increase bill to Parliament.
Education Minister Hassan Diab has said official exams would inevitably be postponed, but stressed the need to find ways to minimize the delay.
“Public schools have not held classes for a month, there is no way not to postpone [official exams]. No matter how many make-up sessions we have, we [have to postpone],” Diab told The Daily Star earlier this week. “Now for how long we will have to postpone is another issue.”
He said the ministry might maneuver to make use of weekends and holidays to minimize the delay.
“We might postpone only for one week, which is not a big deal,” he said.
Exams for Grade 9, or Brevet, students were originally set for June 11-14. Grade 12 students in scientific fields were scheduled to sit for the exams between June 17-22 and for those in the fields of literature and humanities June 24-29.
The UCC, a coalition of teachers and public sector employees, launched an open-ended strike on February 19 to pressure the government to refer a pay hike to Parliament for approval.
Protests have closed schools and paralyzed ministries and government departments.
The UCC said in a statement that the referral of the salary increase draft to Parliament was “an important union and moral achievement embodied by the unity of the Lebanese who rallied around it.”