Rifai urges teachers to refrain from politicizing education

A male teacher gives an English-language lesson. (Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — Chairperson of the Royal Committee to Modernize the Political System Samir Al-Rifai urged teachers to expand the horizons of Jordanian students by helping broaden their thinking on good citizenship, away from politics.اضافة اعلان

Al-Rifai’s call came in a tweet published on his personal account to celebrate The World Teachers’ Day, which falls annually on October 5.

 “Greetings to those who shape the minds and hearts of future generations,” Rifai wrote in his salutation to Jordanian teachers.

“Today, as we enter a new era of political modernization, and social and cultural development, the teachers are responsible for increasing awareness of active citizenship, a programmatic work for the new generation”, he said.

He said the students should be encouraged to receive the information “without any influence, personal attitudes, and without politicization or partisanship”.

“May God enlighten your path and save you. #TeachersDay”, the tweet read.

 The tweet was interpreted as an endorsement of the government’s position before the Jordanian Teacher’s Syndicate (JTS) was formed. Some government officials were anxious that JTS members could influence the political thinking of young Jordanians.

A government tiff with JTS abated only two months ago following three years of running tensions.

At the height of tension, the government said the syndicate was “following the policies of bullying and dictating”.

JTS spokesperson Nour Al-Deen Nadeem told Jordan News that although teachers must be objective, they can be interested in political and social life in general, but “without prejudice”.

He stressed that the syndicate, which was founded as a professional association, had problems with some government circles. “But it was a labor dispute, not a political one,” he asserted.

“Politics is none of our business,” he insisted.

Nadeem reaffirmed that teachers never preach, nor practice politics during the educational process.

Former Minister of Education Azmi Mahafzah ruled out that teachers promote political views, especially since students are below the legal age to join political parties.”

“Of course I agree with Al-Rifai’s call, but I do not think that teachers practice politicization or partisan,” Mahafzah told Jordan News.

“I believe that the curriculum would influence students more than teachers do”, he pointed out.

Mahafzah said that even if JTS members command political views, “I do not believe they promote them in the classrooms.”

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