Teachers in the Central African nation of Gabon have embarked on an indefinite strike until their demands are met. Schools were supposed to reopen on Monday October 31 for a new academic year, but the unions had urged puplis and teachers to stay at home until further notice.
The teachers’ demands include, among others, the payment of incentive premium performance and arrears of salaries dating from several months.
Gabon Review reported on Monday that the two country’s largest teachers’ unions have called for an initial two weeks strike that could drag on if the government does not give them what they are asking for.
The unions are also calling for the release of some of their leaders arrested during the post-electoral violence that hit Gabon, shortly after the incumbent Ali Bongo was re-elected for another seven years in office.
“There will be no school year. We will boycott it because our demands have not been met. We are calling on parents to support us,” union leaders were quoted by Gabon Review as saying in the capital Libreville on Saturday.
The stand-off comes almost two months before the 2016 African Cup of Nations kicks off in this oil-rich nation.
Critics are baffled about the government’s arrogant attitude toward the school personnel, while it is said to be spending a whopping US$769 million to host the competition.