In Manbij and its surrounds, located in the eastern Aleppo countryside, teaching staff announced on Sunday morning that they would begin a general strike, protesting against prevailing education conditions. The area is under the Autonomous Administration’s control.
According to sources told Nahr Media, the teachers had announced a strike similar to the one prevailing in rural areas of Deir-ez-Zor (east of the Euphrates) to demand higher salaries for teachers and improved educational conditions.
On March 21st, education staff in the eastern town of al-Tayana in eastern Deir-ez-Zor, announced the start of an open-ended strike until their demands for higher salaries are met.
Teachers subsequently carried banners saying “The migration of the educated is proof of poor living” and “We do not ask for luxury — just a decent life and for teachers to be able to speak freely.”
On March 20th, teachers of the eastern and western areas of rural Deir-ez-Zor governorate released a petition to carry out a general strike and the total closure of schools in the region.
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The petition included a list of requirements related to prevailing conditions in the education sector across SDF’s spheres of influence. Their demands include “increased salaries from pay that has dragged teachers below the poverty line; respectable treatment of teachers by school education administrators; payment of teachers’ salaries and stabilization, in U.S. dollars, across all sectors, with a minimum salary of US$500; and the introduction of all civil society organizations into the education sector, in all their forms, given their proven track record of supporting educational outcomes.”
The teachers’ conditions also included “not inciting naughty students against the teacher; finding alternatives to corporal punishment; activating the punishment of expulsion and discretionary school transfers for naughty or bullied students; not charging teachers with tasks that are beyond their skillsets, instead of falling under the competencies of guidance counselors, archivists, security personnel, psychologists, or secretaries; activating the teachers’ union to perform its role of defending teachers and not only being “the union of 1,000 liras”; appointing school employees; employing security guards to prevent thefts; and, most importantly, giving intellectuals an effective role in leading the education sector, including the radical restructuring of pedagogical techniques, from top to bottom.”
According to the petition, the striking teachers will continue their strike until all the above demands are met.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.