- Middle East/North Africa
Dozens of protesting teachers were met with tear gas on Sunday in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Beni Suef, as security forces tried to prevent them from breaking into the provincial government headquarters.
Around 500 substitute teachers closed the Nile corniche road, demanding equal pay with colleagues in other governorates who have signed new contracts.
Some teachers stormed the governorate's office and smashed its glass front after a meeting with Governor Maher Baibars, whom they said had failed to fulfill an earlier promise to ask Egypt's education minister for new contracts for them. Central Security Forces cordoned off the building during the protest.
A security source said five protesters were detained following violent clashes with the security forces, adding that ambulances carried scores of injured teachers to Beni Suef's public hospital.
The protesting teachers were working as substitutes at different schools, Beni Suef General Secretary Ismail Tahoun said. He added that the governorate sees no need to hire them and has no money to afford their current salary demands.
Contract regulations adopted by the ministry give priority to teachers of older age and with higher academic degrees, Tahoun said, noting that Baibars requested an exception to this rule with the Education Ministry but has not yet received a response.
Several governorates have witnessed teachers' strikes lately, with teachers demanding higher bonuses and permanent contracts. The strikes coincided with the start of the new school year in mid-September.
Translated from the Arabic Edition