Contractual teachers announced on April 18 that they would push for a “blank year” of striking for 12 months if the education ministry did not abolish recruitment under fixed-term contracts.
Rabat – The tug of war between the teachers who say they were “forced into contracts” (CNPCC) and the Ministry of Education in Morocco continues after a series of negotiation meetings.
While contractual teachers have pledged to suspend their April 15 strike and return to work, they have decided to extend their protest until April 25 on the grounds that the Ministry of Education “flagrantly violated” their April 13 agreement.
After the Ministry of Education and six unions representing teachers held a separate meeting on April 13 to discuss the current dilemma, the parties came to a mutual understanding.
However, the CNPCC says education minister Said Amzazi failed to keep the promises the ministry made and is threatening to push for a “blank year” of not working for 12 months.
The Ministry of Education, said the CNPCC in a press release, breached the April 13 agreement because it began to take legal action against striking teachers, especially those working in academies in the southern region, and did not postpone professional qualifying examinations as agreed.
Contractual teachers double down on their demands
Determined to press ahead with their primary demands to be hired into the public sector, the CNPCC stated that it holds the education ministry accountable for the “catastrophic situation of education.”
On April 18, the group issued a statement renewing its “refusal of teaching under fixed-contract” and called on teachers in training to “join the struggle” and “boycott training courses” until the ministry meets their demands.
Minister of Education Said Amzazi said that integrating contractual teachers into the public sector is not feasible and will not be part of the agenda in the next meeting on April 23.
Contractual teachers have been protesting since February 20, when police used water cannons to disperse protesters, wounding some teachers.
On March 9, at the request of Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani, the education ministry agreed to abolish teacher recruitment under fixed-term contracts and amend many of the provisions of the contracts.
Contractual teachers say their contracts are “discriminatory” because they do not have the same benefits permanent teachers in the public sector enjoy. One of the most contentious terms within the contract states that senior officials at academies where teachers work can revoke the contract if they see fit.
Teachers have complained of being “under the mercy and whims” of academies and the education ministry’s “patchy” solutions, calling for permanent jobs that guarantee them “social, financial, and psychological stability.”
Calling for “serious” dialogues with the education Ministry, the CNPCC also expressed disapproval when Amzazi did not show up for a meeting. Instead, Amzazi attended a festival in Fqih ben Saleh in the Beni Mellal-Khenifra region in northern Morocco.