After protesting poor education and low salaries | Local councils in “Euphrates Shield” areas threaten to fire teachers and deduct their salaries
Aleppo province: SOHR sources have reported that the local councils in “Euphrates Shield” areas controlled by Turkish forces and their proxy factions have issued a statement, threatening to fire teachers and deduct their salaries as a punishment for the days when they were absent from the region’s schools. The teachers had started a general strike, protesting their low salaries and calling for the improvement of the educational process.
The local councils gave the teachers a time limit until tomorrow to return to their schools, and they threatened to fire every teacher who would not be in his school on Wednesday.
On the other hand, the statement has ignited popular anger among the residents who see the decision as an “act of thuggery”.
The statement, of which the Syrian Observatory obtained a copy, and here are highlights of the most important parts of the statement:
“Regarding the teachers who have not attended during their shifts in schools in the city centre and surrounding villages, protesting their low salaries, the following actions will be taken:
- The number days that a teacher absent until Wednesday, October 20, 2021, to be deducted from his salary.
- Every teacher fails to attend in his school from October 20, 2021, will be fired in accordance with the interior system of the Local Council.
- Teachers have to return to their schools or they will be fired.”
It is worth noting that teachers of a large number of schools in the villages and towns in “Euphrates Shield” areas in the northern and eastern countryside of Aleppo started a strike a week ago, calling for raising their salaries and improving the educational process.
On October 17, SOHR sources reported that demonstrations staged by teachers who demanded raise their monthly salaries and improve the educational process in the northern countryside of Aleppo, as work in the schools in al-Bab and Qabaseen cities which are under the control of Turkish forces and their proxy factions were suspended. The suspension of work in these schools came as a part of a general strike started previously by the teachers until their demands be applied. Representatives of the schools of al-Bab and Qabaseen had issued a statement, announcing a general strike under slogan “the Schools are Ours”, demanding the improvement of the educational process. The teachers had previously provided their demands to the Education Directorate and called for meeting the Turkish wali (governor) in charge of the region to discuss the education situation. However, the Turkish wali refused to meet the teachers.
As there was no solution reached and with the marginalization of the educational institutions, the teachers agreed to nominate a group of them in al-Bab and Qabaseen cities and countryside, and they issued a statement warning of the continuation of their strike. In this statement, the teachers complained of the deteriorating living situation of teachers, the low number of teachers in the region, the lack of books, the large number of students, which exceeded 50 students in each grade with adopting no precautionary measures for combating coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Turks have not responded so far to the teachers’ demands.
On October 14, SOHR activists reported that dozens of students in different age categories protested in Afrin city in northwest Aleppo countryside against the deteriorated education system in the city.
Meanwhile, representatives of schools in al-Bab city made an announcement of hunger strike to express their discontent about the deteriorated educational system amid poor subsidy provided to the schools and to demand raising the monthly wages.
The announcement that SOHR obtained a copy of, reads, “we are the representatives of schools of al-Bab, Qebaseen villages and countryside and after intensive meetings through which we informed the concerned bodies of the deteriorated conditions in our schools at the levels of students and teachers, and after the letters we sent to the decision-makers, and after conducted several sit-ins infront of the ministry of educations under coverage of the media channels in the city and after the recent statement on July 10, 2021, and the meeting of oct. 11, 2021, we have decided to strike tomorrow, Thursday, on Oct. 14, 2021. If our demands are not met to improve the educational situation at all levels, and increase the teacher salary to not less than 2,000 LT, to preserve the dignity of the teachers, we will escalate as we promised. In case any teacher encounters any physical or administrative pressure, we wouldn’t stand silent.