Hundreds of teachers stage protest in Cairo demanding removal of education minister

Ahram Online , Thursday 10 Sep 2015

The protesting teachers are threatening to strike if their demands, which include higher pay, are not met

Hundreds of teachers protest in front of Journalist syndicate in Cairo on Thursday (Photo: Amal Kenwi)

Hundreds of teachers staged a protest in front of the Journalists Syndicate in Cairo on Thursday to demand the dismissal of Minister of Education Moheb Al-Refa’ai and increase in wages.

The protesters demanded that Al-Refa’ai be removed from his position over his " failure" in administrating the ministry.

The protest, which takes place on teachers day under the slogan “Dignity Day”, also calls for an increase in the minimum wage of all teachers from EGP1,200 to EGP3,000, as well as an increase in the wages of all education ministry employees.

The protesters additionally called for the removal of the judicial supervision imposed on the Teachers Syndicate since March 2014 by a Cairo court, which was enacted following allegations that the syndicate includes members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group.

The teachers are also asking for an increase in the education budget to 5 percent of the Gross National Product (GNP), as well as an increase in pension pays for retiring teachers.

According to the Egyptian constitution, the education budget must be at least 4 percent of the GNP, a large portion of which is spent on wages.

The protesters have given the government one week to respond to their demands, according to Teachers Syndicate spokesman Mohamed Khaled.

“If the government does not meet our demands within a week, the teachers will go on strike,” Khaled said in a phone call to Ahram Online.

Teachers staged huge strikes at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year where they demanded an increase in wages, permanent contracts for the thousands of teachers who lose out on benefits and seniority, as well as the implementation of the 1,200 EGP minimum wage.

The Ministry of Education did not meet their demands, however, citing economic difficulties.

The school year is set to start on 26 September after being postponed until after the Eid holiday, which ends on 25September.

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