Education Guinean teachers on Monday began a strike to obtain wage increases and tenure of temporary contractors in public education, a move well-attended in Conakry and in the province, according to witnesses and trade unions.
Schools have been closed since 1 February by the government, following violent demonstrations by pupils supporting the integration of temporary teachers into the civil service.
But government spokesman Albert Damantang Camara said on Sunday evening on public television that talks with the unions “were going pretty well,” calling teachers and students to resume classes on Monday.
The unions, which have called for a strike in public primary and secondary schools, are demanding an increase in wages, recruitment in the public service of these teachers and a better working conditions, according to their leaders.
The teachers’ movement was on Monday well attended in Conakry where many institutions remained closed, according to an AFP journalist. Students installed barricades and burned tires on many arteries to demand the resumption of classes.
In the suburbs, the demonstrators threw stones at the police who fired back with tear gas grenades. “We want our teachers, we want to go to school!”, Among others, chanted the students.
The movement was also widely followed in the provinces. In the towns of Siguiri (north-east), Kindia (west), Labé (north), Gaoual and Boké (northwest), all schools were closed on Monday, according to teachers and witnesses on the phone by AFP Of Conakry.