the Transportation Law and the Appointment Law,
the fate of 16 teachers?
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in
conditions that are more difficult and harsh than the rest of the refugees in
the other five regions. Their suffering exacerbated by UNRWA's
austerity policy due to a lack of funding. They are also mainly suffering from
the Lebanese state’s policy of marginalization and deprivation, which made
their lives extremely difficult. Moreover, any austerity decision taken by the
agency makes their lives more fragile. The
Palestinian refugees live their day-by-day without any horizon emerging from
topic of the report related to the fate of 16 teachers is an example of an
almost endless human rights and livelihood demand.
dimensions of this issue are numerous, and perhaps the most important one is
the educational and living dimensions. These teachers need a stable job in
light of exceptional living conditions in which they live, because of the
increase in financial pressures caused by the economic crisis in the country.On the
other hand, the need for these teachers is great, especially in light of the
exceptional academic year and the online education mechanism adopted by UNRWA recently.
So what is the story of those teachers?
16 teachers is unknown:
hope of realizing the right, in an organization that raises the slogan of rights
and human dignity, the voice of a group of teachers in the education sector in
the UNRWA Agency in Lebanon is raised, hoping that they may find justice for
them and release their violated rights.
the learning support teachers?
The learning support program was
launched 12 years ago with funding from the European Union and UNICEF in
particular, and is implemented in 50 of the Agency's schools in Lebanon,it targets annually about 3000 students from the first
and second primary stages annually, and 10 thousand students during the summer
activities. About 250 male and
female teachers are employed in it under the name of a "funded
project" whose contracts are renewed every two months. Today, this program
is threatened with gradual closure, especially after the distribution of a
large number of its teachers to other projects of the Education Department of
In this report, we shed light on a group of teachers
(16 teachers) who hold university degrees in various specializations, who are
working in learning support project called "funded project”. They carry employment numbers and have names on the roosters
(waiting list to be a fixed term teacher). Their names on these roosters have
been overridden more than once, and they have not yet had the right to be
employed in fixed term teachers just like their colleagues on the roosters.
Transportation Law and Appointment Law
The Transportation Law allows employees who work in
the framework of specific projects, who have been appointed on a project from a
rooster, and who work on the project for a year or more, to submit a transfer
request from employees on projects to employees in fixed position on the UNRWA
As for the Appointments Law, it is stipulated first to
appoint the surplus of fixed employees in the vacancies. Then after that the
transfer requests submitted by the employees (whether they are working on a
fixed job or on a project) are to be filled in and vacancies are filled from
the transfer requests, then the daily-workers are appointed after the
completion of the implementation of Transfer requests.
What is the fate of learning support teachers from
these two laws?
When was approved to employ fixed term teachers in
September 2019, one of the decisions was to exclude teachers working on
projects. And because of the
presence of names of the learning support teachers on the rooster, they began
to ask for a way to be employed as fixed term teachers. The answer from the
education department was that they must submit their resignations from the
project and start working as daily-workers to get the chance.
According to testimonies from teachers, and during a
meeting with Mr. Ali Othman at the Human Resources Department on Friday,
January 17, 2019, to inquire about this matter, he informed them that there is
no need to resign, but rather they must submit requests to transfer from a
position on a project to a fixed position on the general budget according to the
transport law. Transfer requests are studied in the summer of 2020, and
teachers will be notified of the result at the beginning of the school year at
the end of the class formations.
In another meeting with Mrs. Mirna Shamma in the
education department on Friday on February 21, 2020, the latter told the learning
support teachers that the transfer requests will not be opened for this year in
order not to effect on the employment of the daily-workers', under the pretext
that the transfer requests will affect the fixed term employment map.
All the learning support teachers who work on projects
and hold contracts, have overridden their names on the rooster in June 2020 under
the pretext that they are on contracts. Therefore, there are no solutions left
for them except the Transportation Law.
After the hard and strong pressure from the Teachers'
Union to open the transfer requests, they were opened and the learning Support
teachers submitted the applications in August 2020 to be studied and informed in
the outcome at the beginning of the school year. This did not happen due to the failure of the class
formations, and then under the pretext of freezing employment decisions.
Now the class
formations have ended and the daily-workers will be informed to start working,
based on the letter of the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon to the
Palestine refugee community. However, according to
the UNRWA Appointments Law, to whom the priority? Is it for transfer requests
made by learning Support teachers for vacancies? Or for the daily-workers?
Why has UNRWA not employed this category of teachers
as fixed term teachers yet? And after the tasks of
the teachers of the learning support program, which has proven its efficiency
and necessity for 12 years, are divided into more tasks in health counseling,
providing academic support and communicating with students and parents, do they
want to skew the course of the program and make the tasks of its teachers
confined to filling vacancies or spaces or Absence or sick leave, to limit the
appointment of daily-working teachers? Is the purpose to end the academic support program? Or
to save for the UNRWA budget? In both cases, what is the impact of these procedures
on the educational process?
·The dimensions of this issue are many, and perhaps the most important
one is the educational and living dimensions.
·The reflection of this issue will be significant on the educational
process, whether positive or negative.
·These teachers need a stable job
in light of the exceptional living conditions they live in, because of the increasing
financial pressures left by the economic crisis in the country.
·The need for these teachers is great, especially in light of the
exceptional school year and the online education mechanism recently adopted by
From here, the Palestinian Association for Human
Rights (witness) demands the following:
1. 1. We demand UNRWA to grant the learning support
teachers their rights and employ them as fixed term teachers as their
2. We ask UNRWA administration to make better use of the
available financial resources.
3. We call on the international community to support
UNRWA to fill the financial deficit, and to make UNRWA budget part of the UN
budget so that its financing does not remain dependent on political interests
in the hands of some donor countries.
4. We call on the Palestinian Teachers Union to take up
this issue and support the just demands of the teachers.
Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness)