Guinea-Bissau: Most teachers return to schools in Bissau, but students remain absent

The two main secondary schools in Bissau, capital of Guinea-Bissau, were in operation, but students still do not attend classes despite the end of the teachers' strike.

Bissau, Guinea-Bissau – The two main secondary schools in Bissau, capital of Guinea-Bissau, were in operation today, but students still do not attend classes despite the end of the teachers’ strike.

At the Kwame N’Krumah National High School, teachers were present, but few were able to gather students to teach.

In six classrooms visited by Lusa, only one teacher taught about 10 students.

“The strike was unleashed yesterday by the three unions. This morning we were thinking that the students were coming in large numbers, but no, and the teachers are showing clearly that they are respecting their unions’ opinions, but the students do not, “said director of the Kwame N’Krumah high school, João Imbalá.

According to the teacher, three months of classes have already been lost and it is necessary for the parents to send the students to the schools.

“On January 3rd, we began to mark the teachers ‘mistakes and also instructed the teachers to begin to mark the students’ mistakes,” he said.

João Imbalá also said that if at the end of two weeks the students did not attend school, they will consider that they gave up.

In Agostinho Neto high school, the scenario was not much different.

Although there were more teachers giving classes, the students also did not appear in large numbers at school.

“Today we have a better composed house, but the total number of students is not yet complete. We hope that with the return of the teachers, the students will attend and the classes will return to normal,” said Agostinho Neto high school director Samuel Mango.

According to Samuel Mango, the school is failing students and teachers who are not attending classes.

“I want to show my indignation at parents and caregivers. We know that classes have started and the concern of any parent and guardian is to send your child to school,” he said.

School principal Agostinho Neto asked the parents and guardians to make an effort and send the children to school and asked the students to be responsible and to return to school because the strike was over.

Teachers from Guinea-Bissau have been on strike since October to claim arrears of salaries, the application of teacher career regulations, and payment for hired teachers and new entrants.

On Tuesday, the government and the three trade unions representing the teachers came to an agreement.

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