Public schools in Chad, have been closed for nearly two months due to a teachers’ strike demanding the payment of salary arrears. This week, the transitional government increased the pressure.
Teachers are seeking the payment of salaries withheld during the 2016 economic crisis and the settlement of certain outstanding debts. This week, the transitional government threatened not to pay the striking teachers at the end of December, intensifying tensions between the two parties.
Despite several meetings between officials from the Ministry of National Education and the Crisis Committee of the Chad Teachers’ Union (SET) regarding the resumption of classes, teachers are holding firm. They assert that they will continue their work stoppage until their demands are met. This situation unfolds as Chadian schools are about to enter the Christmas break.
Parents are advocating for a resolution between the two parties so that children can return to the classrooms. The Crisis Committee of the Teachers’ Union, which initiated the strike, insists that the government must find a solution. Faustin Djimhoudel Djimoudouel, the committee’s president, explains, “The state is forcing us to resume classes unconditionally, not willingly. We have a meager salary… We genuinely regret these circumstances; the ball is in the government’s court.”
According to our sources, transitional authorities believe that the funds available in the public treasury cannot cover the arrears, amounting to over 500 billion CFA francs. The authorities are urging teachers to return to the classrooms; otherwise, their salaries for this month will not be paid.