CÔTE D'IVOIRE, ANGOLA: Academics feeling the pinch

Teachers at the Côte d'Ivoire University of Bouaké's faculties of medicine, law, economics and humanities gave two weeks' notice of a work-to-rule because they have not yet been paid overtime and other bonuses due for 2006-07. Meanwhile in Angola, the Minister for Higher Education is planning to legislate to prevent academics holding more than one job.

The University of Bouaké teachers voted at a general meeting to give 15 days notice on 20 June, after which they would refuse to do overtime related to their teaching work for the rest of the academic year, reported Notre Voie of Abidjan. The estimated amount due to teachers at all universities is about CFA1 billion (US$2,450,000).

The paper quoted Adja Kouassi Jules, a professor of German, as saying: "If each teacher works only the amount of course time that is paid for, there will be at least 70% of students who will be taught only 60% of their courses."

Faced with the empty coffers of the state, the teachers have suggested ways of making the payments over time. The university's president, Professor Landry Aka, said he was trying to resolve the problem. But the teachers were preparing to take tough action if the matter was not sorted out within the two weeks.

Meanwhile, the Angola Press Agency in Luanda reported that the Minister for Higher Education was proposing to take action to prevent teachers signing contracts to work at more than one university.

A ministry official said that holding several jobs, known as 'turbo docência', was adversely affecting the academic climate that universities should create. With that in mind, apart from meetings with teachers and final year students in an attempt to make clear the negative impact the practice was having on academic life, legal orders were being prepared, he said.

Students had said they were concerned about teachers having multiple posts - but teachers said the situation could not be resolved until salaries corresponded to the cost of living.
Full Côte d'Ivoire report on the site
Full Angola report on the site