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Authorities Arrest School Teachers in Al-Jazeera State for Protest

Authorities in Al-Jazeera state arrested 15 school teachers in front of the Ministry of Education after police surrounded their protest to prevent teachers from delivering a memorandum to the Minister of Education in the state ,to protest the closing and merging of 116 schools and the closing of 20 private schools ,in addition to protesting against the situation and the living conditions and demanding improvement in the working environment in schools.

The teachers’ stand coincided with the move of parents across localities after they formed a committee headed by a member of the state’s Legislative Council and Popular Congress party, Awad Al-Imam, which drafted a memorandum to the governor objecting the decisions made.

According to Al-Sayha daily newspaper, Secondary Schools Director in Al-Jazeera state Mohamed Abdalla Mohamed Sulieman defended his directorate’s decree saying that the school which were merged, 116 schools, were established rather based on political motives, without prior study, as a way of satisfying some people of power during passed times; he also added that most of these schools were not subject to educational evaluation and was established without consultation with the Localities.

According to the Sudanese daily newspaper Al-Sayha, the director of the high school in Al-Jazzera State, Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed Sulieman defended the decision of his administration. He pointed out that the 116 schools that were merged were established politically and without prior study to satisfy some of the people in power during the previous period; he also aded that most of these schools were not subject to educational evaluation and were established without consultation with the localities.

Mohammed Abdullah stressed the commitment towards the conditions set by the Ministry and adopted from the technical committee consisting of senior educators, said terms include , a school must include two classes per year, and the minimum number of students is not less than 210 students in each school, noting that most of the schools included in the decision consists of one class and have a severe shortage in teachers, wherein in most of these schools there is the Head of the school and only one teacher sometimes, which results in incomplete academic work and weak academic accomplishment by the students.

On the other hand , the Teachers’ Committee clarified in a statement that the arrests took place during a protest announced by Al-Jazeera state Teachers’ Committee and aimed at protesting the increase in living expenses and low wages

n turn, the teachers’ committee explained in a statement that the arrest took place during a protest declared by the teachers committee of the island confirming their rejection of high prices and low wages.

The memo prepared by teachers to the officials criticized the effects of the public budget for 2018, which it described as being a budget of catastrophic effect upon people’s lives including teachers. The memo also demanded that

the minimum wage be increased and sufficient enough to meet living requirements and achieve a decent standard of living suitable for teachers based on the studies conducted by the committee appointed by the Presidency, which concluded after their study that the minimum income of a family of five members should not be is not less than 5,800 SDG. The memo also emphasised the necessity of cashing the frozen due receivables which were delayed – these receivables include: bonuses and promotions’ and upgrades’ allowances.

Despite the constant prohibition of protests and demonstrations by the authorities, the Interim Sudanese Constitution, 2005 states in Article 40-1: “The right to peaceful assembly shall be guaranteed; every person shall have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form or join political parties, associations and trade or professional unions for the protection of his interests.”