The strike of the 1,100 secondary school teachers in El Fasher locality, North Darfur, entered its fifth day on Wednesday. In East Darfur State, the comprehensive strike of basic and secondary school teachers continued without any signs indicating that the problem will be resolved soon.
For four consecutive days, agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, summoned the eight members of the Teachers Committee. “They kept the teachers from the morning until the evening, interrogating them on the reasons for the strike”, Mohamed Makki Saleh, former director of El Wihda Secondary School in El Fasher, told Radio Dabanga.
“The security officers consider the strike an illegal act, suspecting it to be politically motivated. The eight committee members denied this claim, and said that they resorted to the strike after having exhausted all other means to obtain their financial dues.” “The strike of the teachers of the 39 secondary schools in El Fasher locality has nothing to do with politics”, Saleh stated.
Regarding his dismissal as director of El Wihda Secondary School, and that of his colleague, member of the Teachers Committee and director of the Darfur Secondary School, Idris Mohamed Abdallah, Saleh said that they understood from the local media that a decision was issued by the North Darfur State’s Minister of Education. The ex-school director noted that “the function of school manager is an assignment only. In the end we are all teachers”.
Saleh stressed that the El Fasher teachers’ strike will continue “until all our demands are met”.
Teachers of secondary schools in North Darfur’s Mellit locality reportedly embarked on a similar comprehensive strike, while their colleagues in El Tawisha and Kutum localities have entered into a partial strike.
In East Darfur State, the comprehensive strike of basic and secondary school teachers continued without any signs indicating that the problem will be resolved soon. The teachers will not lift their strike, which has entered its third week, unless they have been fully paid their salary arrears, amounting to more than SDG 3.3 million ($900,000).
Ahmed Hamed Mireikha, head of the Workers’ Union branches of Adila and Abu Karinka localities, told Radio Dabanga that the East Darfur State government “clearly does not appreciate the teachers’ work, and their efforts”. He holds the state’s Ministry of Finance responsible for the situation.
The president of the Sudanese Workers’ Trade Unions Federation (SWTUF) in Khartoum, Yousef Ali Abdel Karim, has called on the North and East Darfur States authorities to pay the arrears. “The salary raises and bonuses should have been paid at the end of each month.”
He told Radio Dabanga that the salary increases have been implemented in the other Sudanese states. “SWTUF will not exempt any party that refuses to do so.” He demanded via Radio Dabanga all Workers’ Union departments to carry out their duties.
For his part, Abbas Habiballah, president of the Sudanese Teachers Union, stressed that the Union will stand by the teachers until they have been fully paid. He told Radio Dabanga from Khartoum that “striking is a right guaranteed to any worker, in order to achieve their rights, on the condition that the required proceedings, including negotiation and arbitration, are followed”.
File photo: A class in Shangil Tobaya’s Naivasha camp, North Darfur (Albert Gonzand#225;lez Farran/Unamid)