Egyptian Teachers call Million Strong Protest
Temporary Teachers protesting in Egypt earlier this Year Egyptian teachers are calling for a massive protest tomorrow - demanding more money for education A report on the Menasolidarity website quotes the following statement from the Egyptian Teachers Federation (ETF): “Every ordinary Egyptian family, including teachers themselves, has the right to feel confident about the future of their children, and that through education, they will have the chance of a better future than their fathers and mothers. Every student has the right to feel confident that their teacher and their school will treat them humanely and deal with them as students rather than an money-making opportunity. The point is not whether schools do ‘good business’ or ‘bad business’, it is that students are not customers and teachers are not traders. The student wants to feel that he or she has a right to receive an education which frees their minds and spirits. Teachers have the right to feel that their social and educational status is valued, that their schools are able to help them deliver what they want to their students by providing an appropriate working environment (including sophisticated laboratories, reduced class sizes and resources for activities). Failure to achieve this in schools restricts teachers’ ability to teach and destroys their aspirations for the importance of their role.” The protest which will demonstrate in front of the Cabinet Offices is demanding 6.5% of GDP for education and is supported by the the Independent Teachers’ Union and the All-Egypt Association of Al-Azhar Teachers as well as the ETF. Teachers in Egypt engaged in a series of protests and strikes towards the end of last year and the beginning of this, demanding that education be properly funded and that teachers be given a living wage as well as proper contracts. The education policies of the ousted Mubarak regime have remained largely unaltered since the revolution - teachers are still badly paid and class sizes can be as big as 90, while many teachers are on temporary contracts. Along with the students, who called for a general strike last month to oust the military regime, the teachers are maintaining their fight for properly funded and emancipated education in Egypt.