Reports & Researches

Between the Transportation Law and the Appointment Law, What is the fate of 16 teachers?

Between the Transportation Law and the Appointment Law,

What is 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 afar.

The topic of the report related to the fate of 16 teachers is an example of an almost endless human rights and livelihood demand.

The 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?

Fate of 16 teachers is unknown:

In the 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.

Who are 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 UNRWA.

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 budget.

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 UNRWA.


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 colleagues.

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.

Beirut, 26/11/2020

Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness)