The schools reopened timidly in Guinea after three weeks of closure due to a strike by teachers of the public and deadly demonstrations for the resumption of courses.
The schools were closed on 1 February by the government after violent demonstrations by pupils supporting striking teachers on strike to be integrated into the civil service.
The movement was supported by teachers’ unions which also demanded higher wages and better working conditions.
The resumption of the courses was decided after the signing, on Monday, of an agreement between the inter-union and the government and the announcement of the suspension of the slogan of strike.
In Conakry and in the provinces, classes resumed on Wednesday in some institutions but at various levels, according to an AFP journalist and witnesses reached by telephone.
At Donka High School, the largest in the country on the outskirts of Conakry, “the recovery is effective at 60%”, told AFP a professor Bangaly Traoré.
In another suburban high school, a supervisor, Alphadio Barry, told AFP “a shy recovery” with “about 20% of students and 15% of teachers” present.
In the towns of Labé (north) and Kankan (east), about one-third of the workforce had resumed classes, witnesses said.
The signing of the agreement with the government and the announcement of the suspension of the strike were not, however, unanimous among the teachers, some denouncing the conditions under which this commitment was concluded, according to trade unionists.
“I was at the end of the strike but not at any price. First we had to come and explain to our comrades the result of the negotiations with the government and then take the decision of the resumption or No, “a trade union official told AFP on Wednesday.
“We are suspect, and our schoolmates believe that we have been corrupted by the government, but this is not the case,” he added.
The teachers’ strike provoked violent demonstrations by students. During these demonstrations 7 killed people on Monday and Tuesday and caused “destruction of public and private properties,” the government said.
According to the authorities, the Ministry of Justice “opened an investigation into these events” on Monday and Tuesday. No details were provided.