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SENEGAL
Teacher graduates demonstrate for jobs

Six months after graduating, nearly 450 newly qualified teachers demonstrated peacefully in Dakar, calling on the government to assign them to permanent posts in the public sector.

The demonstration of graduates from FASTEF, the faculty of science and technology of education and training, was organised by the faculty's Collectif des Sortants - graduates' action group - reported Agence de Presse Senegalaise, or APS, of Dakar.

Accompanied by a strong police presence and with their heads swathed in red scarves, the teachers and their supporters chanted: "We say no, qualified unemployed teachers; it is time to assign the graduates!", "We say no to delays!" and "President - Your promise!"

APS reported Youba Coly, organiser of the march, as saying that President Macky Sall had ordered the education ministry to address the issue of FASTEF graduates. "And still we do not understand why our supervisory department is taking its time to act."

The demonstration was the first stage of an action plan, and if nothing was resolved by the end of the week "we shall carry out other actions", said Coly.

He said Minister of Education, Serigne Mbaye Thiam, "must apply" the advice given by Sall during a ministers' meeting on 9 January about dealing with the FASTEF graduates.

The new teachers have carried out several protests, mostly hunger strikes, since October 2013, reported APS. Altogether 447 were now demanding to be assigned jobs in the public education sector.

Last October the new teachers demonstrated outside the education ministry denouncing the recruitment policies of the education minister, which they claimed were purely 'political', reported Dakaractu at the time.

Mamadou Lamine Diante, general secretary of Saems-Cusems, the middle and secondary school education union, accused the minister of appointing 100 temporary teachers who were Socialist Party activists while new graduates from FASTEF and other teacher training schools remained unemployed, reported Dakaractu.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.
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