Teachers Protest Fingerprinting Implementation At The Education Ministry

11 February 2024 Education

Amidst rainy weather conditions, a group of educational staff members staged a sit-in outside the Ministry of Education building this morning, voicing their discontent over the commencement of fingerprinting procedures for teachers in schools. They emphasized that their protest wasn’t against the concept of fingerprinting itself but rather its untimely implementation, asserting that such measures should be introduced at the start of the school year and following the approval of the ministry’s organizational structure.

Abdullah Al-Sharif, the head of the Educational Bodies Association and a prominent educational activist, clarified that their sit-in doesn’t signify opposition to fingerprinting but rather seeks to address several preconditions. These include ensuring teachers’ full rights, finalizing the new organizational structure, and scheduling the fingerprinting process at the beginning of the academic year. Al-Sharif stressed the need for clarity on the implementation mechanism, particularly regarding flexible working hours.

While expressing support for fingerprinting implementation among teachers, Al-Sharif underscored that its enforcement doesn’t necessarily equate to improved discipline in the educational system. He highlighted the multitude of rights owed to teachers, including overdue payments, committee memberships, work team compensations, and educational material losses. Al-Sharif criticized the burden placed on teachers, such as administrative tasks, cafeteria duties, and shifts, which diverge from their professional roles.

Teacher Talal Al-Enezi reiterated that the sit-in’s objective isn’t to abolish fingerprinting but to urge the government and Ministry of Education leaders to deliberate decisions thoroughly before implementation. Al-Enezi pointed out discrepancies in the current fingerprinting system, which operates from seven in the morning until two in the afternoon without a structured regulatory framework. He emphasized the importance of safeguarding teachers’ rights, especially considering their additional responsibilities within schools. According to Al-Enezi, the classroom itself is a teacher’s fingerprint, making their absence conspicuous to all.

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