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April 30th 2013 Concluding the Global Action Week Activities in Palestine: Students and Teachers marching to the President’s Office in Ramallah

National News from Palestinian Territory by Palestinian Coalition for Safe School Environment

On Sunday, 28th April General Union of Palestinian Teachers in cooperation with the Palestinian Coalition for Safe School Environment have concluded the Global Action Week’s activities in Palestine with a march that headed to Mahmoud Abbas’s office in Ramallah to submit the Coalition’s statement of demands to the President of the State of Palestine.

About 400 teachers and students marched from Ramallah Boys School to Yaser Arafat’s Square (downtown), then to Al-Moqataa, the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority. The march was headed by representatives of member organizations in the Palestinian Coalition for Safe School Environment and Teachers’ Union. Teachers and students held up mottos that said “every Palestinian child needs a qualified and supported teacher”, “the Palestinian teacher deserves a quality qualification and training”, “the Palestinian teacher deserves better work conditions” and “the Palestinian teacher deserves lower workload”.

At the end, representatives of Coalition representatives, students and teachers were received by Gazssan Nemer, the Political Commissioner of the President’s Office and the Public Relations Director in Al-Moqataa. A delegation of the marchers that consisted of Ahmad Sehweel the Secretary General of the Teachers’ Union, Omar Assaf, the General Coordinator of the Palestinian Coalition, and board members of the Teachers’ Union, submitted the statement of demands to the Political Commissioner who represented the President. The main demands mentioned in the statement included:

  • Recognition of teaching as a profession in Palestine
  • Amending and unifying the law of retirement from teaching.
  • Hiring sufficient numbers of teachers to decrease workload on teachers
  • Increasing budgets allocated to education in the Palestinian government's general budget.
  • Implementation of the amended civil service law as soon as possible.
  • Giving priority to teachers' salaries in light of the financial crisis in Palestine.
  • Establishing higher education fund to support education of teachers' families.
  • Increasing the bonus allowance for all teachers who teach in Jerusalem, not only for those who live and teach in Jerusalem.
  • Investing recognition of the Palestinian state in international organizations and agencies to increase international solidarity with Palestinian teachers and students and against occupation.