The teachers of Madagascar have been on a strike for a week now, asking the high transitional authority to spend more money on public education to raise teachers’ salaries. The SEMPAMA – the teachers’ labor union handling the strike – has asked that the transitional government unlocks a 250 billion ariary budget ($120m) to ameliorate the remuneration of the teaching workforce.
Up until the beginning of this week, Andry Rajoelina‘s response to the strikers’ claim was unsatisfying for the demanding crowd: “freedom shouldn’t be used at the expense of the country’s future“. Nice phrase, but wrong move. The strikes kept running, expressing the people’s frustration regarding the lack of money that is allocated to public education.
On Tuesday, Claude Raharovoatra, president of the SEMPAMA, met with Andry Rajoelina to figure a way out of this crisis. Following the meeting, the president of the transition declared: “Madagascar’s regular financing and investment activities are not back to normal. Giving satisfaction to the claims of the union will be painful“.
After further considerations, the president of the transition raised the intial 20 billion ariary education budget to 25 billion ariary. The raise was not enough for the teachers, who decided to keep on striking until the president provides an adequate solution to the financially broken public education system. Even though Rajoelina argues that striking in times of a crisis is foul play, the teachers are determined to keep marching on until their claims are fulfilled.
The strike movement has also been encouraged by Ravalomanana’s opposition party, whose main motivation is to destabilize the transitional government and bring former president Ravalomanana back (from South Africa).
Source: Teacher Solidarity