News: Four university lecturers detained in Arba Minch in connection with strike released today

Arba Minch University Main Gate. Photo: Arba Minch University

Addis Abeba – Four teachers, including the president of Arba Minch University Teachers’ Association, have been arrested in connection with the ongoing strike in various universities of the country since yesterday were released today.

One of Arba Minch university teachers who preferred to be anonymous, said that the president and the vice president of the Arba Minch University Teachers Association, along with two other teachers were arrested on Monday.

“The president was set free later,” but the others have been released today, she told Addis Standard.

The teaching and learning process has been interrupted since yesterday, the instructor said, adding that and all the teachers gathered together and went to the police station to request the release of the arrested teachers.

Fikreslase Akalu, the President of Assosa University Teachers’ Association, said that Assosa University teachers have also joined the strike and did not work today. “The strike will continue until our demands are answered,” the President told Addis Standard.

The president said that many universities have continued the strike and those that that did not go on strike yesterday have started today.

According to another instructor at Woledia University, the teaching and learning process has also stopped there since yesterday.  He said, “for a teacher who earns 8000 Birr per month and pays 6000 Birr of it for house rent obviously unable to manage his family has no option but to go on strike.”

“Our question is not political, it is an issue of whether to live or not so that the government should give response to our demands,” he added.

In a letter sent to the Ministry of Education and high level government institutions on 03 August the University Teachers’ Association, which numbers around 40,000 teachers stated a list of demand including salary raises, promotions, housing, life insurance, credit mechanisms, and cautioned that if their questions were not answered by 11 September 2022, the teachers would enact their own measures.

University instructors who spoke to Addis Standard last week said they decided to go on a strike as a result of their demands which were not answered.

However, speaking to Deutsche Welle however, president of the teachers association Befekadu Zeleke (PhD) distanced the teacher’s association from the call for strikes saying that the association is following up on the demands submitted to the government to legally. He added, the strike was called by informal groups of teachers using the association’s logo. AS

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