A nation-wide strike by secondary school teachers emptied classrooms across Tunisia on 22 and 23 January. Lasad Yacoubi, General Secretary of the General Union of Secondary School Teachers said on Friday “our key differences with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth and Sport are over our main demands over our conditions at work. We want to reduce our working hours. It is well-known that teaching is an exhausting profession, and even the Ministry recognises this, but they have a very narrow-minded attitude to our demands.”
The union is also fighting to create new jobs, Yacoubi said. “By reducing teachers’ working hours we can provide opportunities for at least ten thousand unemployed people”.
Other demands include the reform of the curriculum, which remains basically the same as during Ben Ali’s dictatorship.
Teachers’ participation in the strike was very solid, union officials told a press conference on 22 January. In Tunis, 95 percent of teachers were on strike, Ben Arous 95 percent, Manouba 81 percent, Al-Mahdia, 95 percent, Sfax 95 percent, Gabes 91 percent, while most other areas reported similar figures.
What you can do:
- Send messages of solidarity to the Tunisian teachers’ strike via firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.facebook.com/mena.solidarity
- Take a photograph of yourself and colleagues in your union branch using the poster designs below. Send to us or post on our Facebook page and we will forward
- Read more about recent strikes in the Kasserine region here, and a report on Mohamed Sghaier’s visit to the UK in November.
- Poster 1 and Poster 2