Students Protest Amid School Closures In Guinea

Police in Guinea fired tear gas as hundreds of students armed with stones and sticks demonstrated on Monday in the capital over strikes by teachers that have blocked them from going to classes for weeks.

Government centers, small stores and gas stations closed on Monday to avoid looting by the students 15 years and older.

“Where will we go to class? There is no activity in the country,” students shouted in various neighborhoods. Demonstrators also set fire to tires and threw them into the streets.

The two largest teacher trade unions have been on strike for weeks, demanding higher salaries and the resumption of work by contracted teachers, who are not full-time. The government, they say, is not meeting their demands.

The unions said on Monday that their strike will continue until a pay raise of between 7.5 to 10.3% is met.

“We will continue to strike, and we then also demand the resumption of courses by licenced educated contractors,” said union spokesperson Aboubacar Soumah.

A hospital official said that a woman came to the hospital saying she had been wounded by a police bullet.

Lt Colonel Mamadou Alpha Barry, spokesperson for the police, would not comment on police force, but did say that they had arrested a man on Sunday who had called for demonstrations.

Written by Deborah O

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