Friday, May 20, 2011

Education News of the World

In Botswana, teachers and other public sector workers are striking for a living wage and their students have been demonstrating in support. The Teacher Solidarity website says that the government has closed the school indefinitely in retaliation. In some schools, scabs were brought in and some of them were attacked by students who threw rocks at them. Botswana has one of the largest gaps between the rich and the poor in the world. 47% of the population lives on less than $1 per day, according to the Teacher Solidarity website.

Members of the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) are on strike in Ghana for the second time this year for unpaid wages. The earlier strike had been called off after the government promised to pay them. However, the payments still have not occurred, compelling teachers to walk off the job again. Striking teachers were attacked by police, who fired rubber bullets and teargas at them in the capital of Accra, the Teacher Solidarity website reported. Ghanian teachers only earn $250 per month (cops who earn three times as much).

According to the Teacher Solidarity website, CCT members are also angry with the leaders of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) who they blame for weak and ineffectual dealings with the government. The government does not recognize the CCT and has threatened punitive action against the teachers.

Teachers in Lebanon also went on strike this week at all of the nation’s private schools to pressure politicians to form a government. The Teacher Solidarity website said that almost 100,000 k-12 and university teachers participated in the strike.

Saskatchewan, Canada

The Teacher Solidarity website also reported that teachers in Saskatchewan, Canada struck this week for wage increases. Teachers there earn considerably less than their counterparts in the rest of Western Canada. They are asking for a 12% raise (the government is only offering 5.5%). As a result, 95% of teachers voted in favor of the strike action.

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