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PAN, May 10, 2008

Students set 45 vehicles ablaze, attack police

Numerous schools have been closed in Kabul as well as in provinces as a way of strike to press for their teachers' demand of salary increase from the government.

Zainab Muhammadi

A demonstration staged by hundreds of school students demanding pay raise for their teachers turned violent as they hurled stones at police and torched 45 vehicles here on Saturday.

Protest of Afghan teachers
This teacher told Ariana TV on May 1, 2008: “We want food, we have no energy to enter the class rooms, for how long should we live under destitution? We will continue our strikes as long as our demands are not accepted.”

RAWA: Since a week teachers of largest high schools in Kabul such as Habibia, Zarghona, Isteqlal etc. are on strike as Afghan government has not paid their salaries in the past 3 months and the promises to increase their salaries have not be realized. While the prices of food items have been doubled in the past month, teachers’ salary is as low as US$50-60 which is not enough to buy a bag of flour.

The education minister Hanif Atmar said 40 vehicles belonging to ordinary people and five police jeeps were burnt down and five policemen were slightly wounded in the violence 'by some rioters among the demonstrators'.

The demonstration was held by the Habibia High School students in Darul Aman area to the west of Kabul city this morning. The protestors took to streets to show their support and sympathy with their teachers who want an increase in their salaries. Officials say stones were hurled at police, their jeeps were burnt and dozens of public vehicles were also put on fire.Numerous schools have been closed in Kabul as well as in provinces as a way of strike to press for their teachers' demand of salary increase from the government.

The education minister said it was a legal demand raised by school administrations and students, but the demonstration was held illegally since the police were not informed.

He termed those who resorted to violence as rioters who, the minister said, have entered among the students for disruptive activities. Seeking apology from parents of the teen students for being used in a 'riot', the minister said: "Those who took part in the riots were not from our schools."Hanif Atmar went on to say that three groups of people were responsible for the violent activities. He pointed to the three groups as terrorists, irresponsible politicians and some anti-government elements.

The minister also said that two suspected person, who were not the school students, were arrested by the police.

The minister called on all protesting schools to end their strike and be sure that their demands would be met soon.

A teacher of Habibia School, Ghulam Mustafa, told Pajhwok Afghan News they launched the demonstration in a peaceful manner, but some 'rioters' entered later who resorted to violence.

Category: Warlords, Children, Protest, Education - Views: 12937


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