Ei-iE

Côte d'Ivoire: Government inaction forces teachers to strike

published 1 December 2006 updated 1 December 2006

EI affiliate in Côte d'Ivoire representing primary school teachers the Syndicat National de l'Enseignement Primaire Public de Côte d'Ivoire (SNEPCCI) is launching a strike from 4-6 December to protest against the degradation of the country's education system and the state's failure to fulfill its responsbilities towards education.

Meanwhile, another EI affiliate in the country, the Syndicat National des Enseignants du Second Degré de Côte d'Ivoire (SYNESCI) which represents secondary school teachers, is also expressing its discontent with the government. More specifically, it is heavily criticising the reforms recently announced by Minister of Education, Michel Amani N'guessan, which includes the doubling of registration fees for public secondary schools from 2600 francs (4 euros) to 5000 francs (8 euros).

SNEPCCI Secretary General and EI Executive Board member Salimata Doumbia says that primary school teachers in Côte d'Ivoire face very difficult work and living conditions.

The career path of primary school teachers needs urgent review; while other public employees can reach up to Grade 7 in their career, a primary school teacher's highest grade stops at 3. Housing and relocation benefits need to be re-calculated and paid.

The SNEPCCI is also lobbying to integrate contractual teachers into the public sector.

The SNEPCCI submitted 19 resolutions from its national congress held in August 2004 to the government, but has received no response. The Inter-Ministerial Commission was finally put in place on 24 July 2006. It had already held five working sessions that lead to no concrete results.

"Teachers are running out of patience” said Salimata Doumbia.

"The school is left to defend itself. Teachers are frustrated, humiliated and marginalised," she continued."

Since 4 May, the SYNESCI has been denied access to its headoffice in Yopougon by the military. EI continues to closely monitorevents.

EI has five member organisations in Côte d'Ivoire: SNEPCCI, SYNESCI, SYNARES, SYNADEEPCI and CEPENS-CI