Firas Khatib, representative of Irbid governorate to the NCRTA, said to The Star, "We decided, in response to the families of the students who have been supporting our issues, to suspend our strike and give the Government a period of time until April 17 to prove its good intentions, to vow to refer as urgent the Teachers' Association Law to the Parliament's extraordinary session, and to show its commitment to NCRTA as the only body representing teachers in Jordan; in addition to that, we requested our full right to hold protests in front of the educational directorates as we see necessary, outside official school hours."
As for all the classes that students had missed during the strike, Khatib stated that NCRTA ordered all teachers to compensate the students by setting a clear program for this purpose.
Qasim Bunayyan, a NCRTA member, told The Star that the strike may resume later on.
He said, "We would never accept the existence of another body that claims to represent teachers other than NCRTA; and we are surprised by the existence of a Jordanian Teachers Committee, which is coveted by the Government; how can this committee announce on Jordan TV that teachers have suspended their strike while it has not participated from the first place in this strike; it was against the strike and it does not represent teachers; this is a trick and its continuation means that there are clear attempts to circumvent the national dialogue with teachers."
Bnayyan commented, "NCRTA
was created in the field through teachers' action, and we have liaison officers all over the Kingdom; while it's true we do not by any means monopolize the right to represent teachers, we assure that this committee has a political role to weaken our movement; its members have always been against the idea of establishing an association, and they have never suffered any retribution as that meted against some teachers in our movement; they travel for their meetings in Ministry of Education buses,.
President of NCRTA, one of the retired teachers, Mustafa Rawashdeh, told The Star, AoThis is an unprecedented decision, as usually referring to early retirement comes upon the teachersAAE request, or for punishment purposes in case a teacher has a bad record; but all the activists who were included in the decision had very clean records; we assure that this is a political decision and not an administrative one; and I stress that never had the Ministry, in all its history, made such a decision without receiving a personal request or for health reasons; for this reason we will study lodging a lawsuit against the Minister this week.Ao
For this reason NCRTA has decided to establish a fund for teachers who were affected by the decision.
Ayman Okour, member of NCRTA in Irbid, commented, AoThey [Government] took the decision during the vacation on purpose as they thought we did not have a weapon to use; but the school year is coming and NCRTA will decide on what actions to take; we have not taken a decision yet because we are giving the Government a time limit to review its decision.Ao
NCRTA is planning to carry out a series of escalated actions starting the new school year including strikes in schools all over the kingdom, boycotting parliamentary elections, and holding protests in front of the Prime Ministry and MoE, according to Khateeb.