Students will be returning to school on Monday, more than two months after the military overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26th. While teacher unions are ready to start the academic year, they are waiting for the promises made by the ousted government to be fulfilled.
The National Union of Basic Education Contractual and Civil Servant Workers (Synaceb) emphasizes that this is a “particularly unique” year. According to Synaceb, the necessary preparations have been made ahead of the school year. Salaries have been paid, assignments have been made, and authorities assure the availability of school supplies to commence classes. The union has been informed that trucks loaded with supplies have left Niamey en route to various regions.
However, some outstanding demands have not been met, and the union remains vigilant. Chief among these is the integration of contractual teachers into the civil service. Although unions had signed a memorandum of understanding with the ousted government, the commitments made have not been fully honored.
Now, the Union of Basic Education Contractual Teachers (USECOB) sees “great uncertainties” looming due to the sanctions imposed on Niger following the coup. USECOB explains that many teachers have worked as contractual employees for many years and deem it essential for the government to continue its recruitment program.
After the school year begins, Niger’s teachers hope to meet with the Minister of Education once again to address these pressing issues.