‘War of attrition’ between union and government ongoing

Although the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar has reopened after prolonged protests and strikes by students and lecturers, the teachers’ and researchers’ union SECES, or Syndicat des Enseignants Chercheurs de l’Enseignement Supérieur, is still holding out against the government, leading to the cancellation of teaching and research.

While courses had restarted and examinations had taken place in some departments at Antananarivo, the situation now was worsening in a ‘war of attrition’, according to Midimadagasikara.

Tension had continued between the university’s members of SECES and the government, which showed no sign of granting the union’s demands, and the situation worsened three months ago with the cancellation of courses and research activities at the university and in national research centres, leading to delays for the 2022-23 university calendar, reported Midimadagasikara.

At its general assembly at the end of September, SECES confirmed its decision to continue its movement, and intensify action, if the government did not respond to its demands. It also announced a freeze on exam results and of two first-year entrance exams.

Midimadagasikara reported that some departments, including medicine and sociology, had already held exams and published the results, but the faculty of sciences had not yet been able to hold any. Students were complaining about the inequality.

The paper said the resumption of educational activities in some departments and the continued stoppages in others were seen by some as a split within the union over the strike.

SECES denounced manoeuvres aimed at dividing the block of teachers and researchers to weaken the movement. — Compiled by Jane Marshall.

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