Retirees, graduates volunteer for school work as Bahrain teachers extend strike

February 24, 2011

Around 1,100 retired teachers and university graduates have volunteered to teach classes in schools where instructors opted to take part in the Pearl Roundabout protests, the education minister said.

“Parents have insisted on their children attending classes, and in the absence of teachers, we called for volunteers,” Majed Al Nuaimi said. “Up to Monday, we had 1,074 people who volunteered to replace the teachers and we are grateful for their valuable cooperation,” he said.

Several male and female teachers on Sunday and Monday joined thousands of people at the roundabout, the Manama monuments turned into the rallying point for protests.

However, despite their absence, the education ministry said that it was not cancelling classes and the schools would remain open.

“Getting an education is an essential right for all young men and women. Absenteeism or lack of courses will certainly affect students’ performance and will impact their chances to get high grades and scholarships. We do not want to compromise the chances of our students,” Al Nuaimi said.

Attendance in the schools in the Southern and Muharraq governorates was high, average in the Central governorate and low in the Capital and Northern governorates, the minister said.

Bahrain’s national trade union initially called for a general strike on Sunday, but reversed course after Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Saturday ordered the pullout of armoured vehicles off the streets of Bahrain.

However, teachers went ahead with their strike on Sunday to express their solidarity with the protesters. They later said that they would keep their strike open.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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