The relentless teacher strikes against the new fundamental system has reached a breaking point as these demonstrations will persist throughout this week, with a strike starting today and lasting until Thursday, followed by another three-day strike scheduled for next week.
There are scheduled marches on November 2nd and 7th, set to begin at the Parliament and proceed towards the Ministry of Education.
The escalation persists despite the meeting held on Monday between the Head of Government, Aziz Akhennouch, and the education unions, and their agreement to undertake a comprehensive review and improvement of the fundamental system.
“The fundamental system requires a radical change not just mere review or improvement,” said Abdellah Ghmimet, the secretary general of National Education Federation, an education union that was excluded from the meeting with the Akhennouch.
In an interview with MoroccoLatestNews English, Ghmimet expressed dissatisfaction with the ongoing discussions, emphasizing that the reference point for the dialogue continued to be the January 14th agreement, which had given rise to the current flawed fundamental system in the first place.
“The head of government and the minister are accountable for unjustifiably excluding our union from the dialogue. We are ranked as the fourth most representative union, and it raises questions when the head of government extended an invitation for dialogue to the fifth-ranked union but not to us. This exclusion appears to be a vindictive action,” said the secretary general of the union.
Ghmimet raised concerns that the ongoing dialogue was an attempt to disrupt the unity of the education workforce and create a misleading impression of a willingness to address the ongoing issues.
Ghmimet further highlighted that the four unions involved had not met the expectations of the education workforce, leading to strikes, protests, and the assignment of blame to the ministry. Ghmimet stressed that the recent dialogue fell short of meeting the unions’ requirements as well.
Ghmimet emphasized that teachers were not only seeking financial improvements but also moral and democratic changes that would benefit educational institutions, students, and the entire professional environment.
“Our struggle is not solely about financial gains, as the current basic system, if left unaltered, poses a significant threat to the acquired rights and dignity of teachers,” said Ghmimet.
Ghmimet underlined that ending the ongoing struggle and returning educators to their classrooms would require concrete actions addressing their demands, not just empty promises.
“The minister of Education, Chakib Benmoussa, failed in handling the dialogue on the Fundamental System,” said Ghmimet highlighting the minister’s shortcomings.
“However, it’s important to remember that from the outset, the minister worked under the government’s supervision. The minister himself stated that he was consulting with the government,” added Ghmimet.
Nonetheless, “the responsibility remains collective,” said Ghmimet, adding that “even the head of the government won’t make any headway on the issue unless there is a clear political will to address the fundamental system,”
Ghmimet said “that teachers are unwavering in their determination, as it has become a matter of dignity rather than financial gain.”
He noted that teachers are now facing salary deductions for each day of the strike, “but they persist in their strikes, saying that they have little left to lose, having already sacrificed their dignity as teachers and the integrity of the public school system.”
As the teachers’ strikes and protests persist, it is anticipated that the head of government will arrange additional meetings with the unions to address the fundamental system and explore avenues to address the teachers’ demands.