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Teachers Strike : Cameroon’s Lords of Chalk Frown at World Teachers Day

Teacher's Day

October 5th , an honorary day to celebrate Teachers was lashed out by the OTS movement who are demanding their salaries and better working conditions.

The 28th edition of the World Teachers’ Day is placed under the theme: “The transformation of education begins with teachers”. A theme that does not fit with the malaise of teachers in Cameroon.

Since February, they have launched walkouts through various collectives that have paralyzed the school. The Intersyndicale de l’éducation announced on 3 October strikes in the coming days. The teachers are demanding, among other things, the immediate payment of 181 billion euros in arrears, advances, family allowances and other bonuses, and the revision, improvement and anchoring of the special status of teachers.

Last March, the President of the Republic ordered the settlement of the debt due to the non-payment of non-housing allowances to 5,289 staff of the Ministry of Secondary Education (Minesec), as well as the debt related to the partial integration of 20,449 staff of this ministry, of which 2/3 have been paid. But several teachers have not yet benefited from these measures, which they consider insufficient. They are maintaining the pressure to demand better consideration for their profession.

The government has launched a plan to clear this debt. But obviously, the pace is not to the liking of OTS leaders. They denounce a partial consideration of their claims. They even add that some have never been taken into account. This is the case for the project of a special status for teachers.

The method does not change either. The strikers observe the “dead chalk” operation: they have to be present on the school premises, but they do not have to give any lessons. And this until the government reacts. Which is still pending.

It is recalled that every day, new institutions entered the strike by posting a video in the OTS forums on the social platform.  Meanwhile some teachers do not share the same enthusiasm. They are convinced that OTS no longer has the credibility to provoke a nationwide strike as the collective did at the beginning of the year… A teacher in Yaounde, close to the OTS collective, points out that this new strike is going unnoticed even in the OTS  forums. In any case, OTS intend to make their voices heard.

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