Hundreds of teachers blocked Qasr al-Aini Street Monday while demonstrating in front of the Cabinet building to protest conditions they described as “degrading” to the country’s educators.
Security forces meanwhile set up iron barriers to prevent teachers from getting to the building.
Demonstrators called on authorities to dismiss the education minister, give teachers incentive rewards of 200 percent without compromising their bonuses, set LE3,000 as a minimum salary for teachers and criminalize private lessons.
They also demanded contracts for teachers working without them, an abolishment of what they described as “corruption within the educational departments and directorates,” and the development of a method that ensures decent livelihoods for teachers.
Education Minister Ibrahim Ghoneim said the ministry hopes to fully comply with the president’s decisions made during a meeting with Ahmed Halawany of the Teachers Syndicate to approve a 50 percent bonus for teachers in October.
The ministry said in a statement Monday that the increase rate would be 100 percent of the basic salary, saying it provided the money from its budget without burdening the state.
Activist movements that seek to improve conditions for teachers, including the Egyptian Teachers Union and the Independent Teachers Syndicate, called for the sit-in under the slogan “A school year without teachers.”
A nationwide teachers’ strike took place around the same time last year, with several unions participating. Labor mobilization in the public education sector’s ranks has been on the rise, with some rights reports saying the sector last year saw one of the highest numbers of protests in its history.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm