Prime Minister Najib Mikati promised teachers Thursday to pass in June a new salary scale for the public sector which would allow them to benefit from a salary raise introduced to the private sector in January.
Given this promise, teachers went back on their threat not to proctor grade 9 and grade 12 official exams, but said they would not begin correcting the exams until the scale was passed.
“We gave Prime Minister Najib Mikati until the end of the month to pass the salary scale, otherwise we will not correct the exams,” Nehme Mahfoud, the head of the Association of Private Schools Teachers, told The Daily Star. Under the law, salaries of private school teachers are tied to public school teachers’ salaries.
Mikati made his promises to a delegation from the Union Coordination Committee, a coalition of teachers and public and private sector employees, which visited him at the Grand Serial.
Students in Lebanon have to pass grade 9 official exams to join high school and grade 12 tests to enroll in university. Grade 9 official exams are set to begin Tuesday while grade 12 exams will start a week later.
“Discussions were fruitful, constructive ... and frank,” Hanna Gharib, the head of the Secondary Teachers Association, told reporters after the meeting. “The prime minister made a number of commitments, the first of which was to pass the salary scale of the public sector, taking into consideration agreements with teachers unions,” he added.