Education International
Education International

Niger: Teachers union calls on government to negotiate in good faith

published 28 February 2013 updated 13 March 2013

The Syndicat National des Agents de la Formation et de l’Education du Niger(SYNAFEN), one of EI’s national affiliates, has called on the Government to respect the country’s Constitution and urged that dialogue and not force be used to resolve conflict. It made its demands in a Statement published after it examined events around the peaceful march organised by the Teachers’ Unions’ Permanent Forum for Reflection and Action on 15 February which was disrupted by police.

Government respect for teachers’ constitutional rights demanded

In its statement on 17 February, the SYNAFEN Executive Board reminded the government that “it would gain greater credibility, at least, by respecting the Constitution that the Niger people freely adopted, notably the principles of freedom of association, demonstration and access to information”.

The union’s statement also strongly deplores, denounces, and condemns the unchecked and arbitrary use of force by the police against the citizens they have a duty to protect.

SYNAFEN reminds the country’s leaders that teachers are neither children nor toys, but responsible people who will never give in to intimidation of any form and that nothing will deter them, so great is their commitment.

SYNAFEN: call for dialogue

The union reminds “those determined to use force as the only means of resolving disputes that seven centuries have passed between the warrior exploits of the middle ages and the Niger of 2013. There is only one way to resolve disputes for civilised peoples: dialogue.”

The union also calls on national and international public opinion to bear witness to the government’s responsibility for the consequences of reaching stalemate over the future of education in Niger.

EI: Authorities must respect human and trade union rights

“EI supports its affiliate in Niger in its campaign for free, quality public education for all,” said the EI’s principal coordinator for the African region, Assibi Napoe. “It calls on the national authorities to respect teachers’ human and trade union rights and to enter into negotiations in good faith with their unions.”