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Teachers’ Strike in Morocco Drags On…and On

Morocco’s Democratic Confederation of Work and Teachers Union announced a three-day national strike to be held this Tuesday through Thursday–which is expected to be accompanied by massive protests–culminated by a national march on December 3rd, according to a press release published on Saturday.

Previous strikes were also accompanied by protest marches between October 24-26, and to coincide with school break times on October 27, 28, 30, 31 and November 1,2,3,4,9,10 and 11.

These strikes and protests are the result of an “unfair and unilateral” new fundamental law that has caused tension between the Ministry of Education, teachers, and their unions.

The release said that government officials are releasing misleading statements about the rationale for teacher pushback, highlighting that retaliatory deductions from the teachers’ salaries are arbitrary and illegal.

The Union accused the Ministry of Education of bearing responsibility for the education situation, and as such demanded immediate redress to their demands, in addition to opening dialogue with all relevant stakeholders and mediators.

Last week, Morocco’s head of government Aziz Akhannouch asked striking teachers to come back to work, promising to improve certain provisions of their status as national education civil servants and indicating that he has set up a ministerial commission to address their concerns.

Teachers in Morocco have expressed deep dissatisfaction with the new law, which they consider unfair and detrimental to their profession. They argue that the law fails to address long-standing issues in the educational sector, exacerbating tensions and highlighting glaring injustices.

Among their laundry list of concerns are the lack of salary increases, unfulfilled promises of bonuses and benefits, and the unequal treatment of contract teachers as compared to teachers affiliated with the ministry. Other areas of concern include the promotion criteria, teaching hours, and removal of the age restriction for the entrance exam.