A group of medical students has joined Moroccans who condemned police’ use of water cannons and batons against teachers protesting fixed-term contracts.
Rabat – Following the injury of dozens of protesting teachers by security forces using water cannons and batons, the National Commission of Medical Students “strongly” condemned the use of “violence” to disperse the protesters, in a statement on Thursday.
The statement read that the police officers’ actions were “a violation of human rights” and the right to lead peaceful protests. They expressed full solidarity with the teachers who “were deprived of their rights to stability, promotion, and continuous training.”
The commission also called on the government to pay serious attention to the demands of the teachers and start a constructive dialogue with them, “which is for the best interest of the national education.”
Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi said Thursday, following the weekly government meeting, that the government is keen to listen to and guarantee the contractual teachers’ rights to health coverage, job promotions, and a pension fund.
Contractual teachers do not benefit from health coverage or retirement funds because they are hired for a fixed term by educational institutions, unlike permanent teachers in the public sector.
El Khalfi explained that the hiring of the teachers comes after they undergo vocational training and spend two years getting work experience at educational academies.
On Wednesday, the eighth anniversary of Morocco’s “20 February movement,” hundreds of teachers from different cities took to the streets of Rabat to lead a protest from Parliament on Avenue Mohammed V to the Ministry of Education at Bab Rouah.
The teachers, fed up with the lack of response to their demands to be integrated into the public sector of employment, began to make their path toward the the Royal Palace of Rabat when security forces started firing water cannons and manhandling them, leading to the injury of dozens.
The General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) said yesterday in a statement that security forces had to maintain “order and public safety” and stop some protesters who were getting violent.
The police did not make any arrests, according to DGSN.