Monday, September 30, 2013

Government Teachers Protest today Across Oman

Today many Omani teachers and students have gone to work, but the teachers are refusing to teach in protest of many issues that have not been addressed by the Ministry of Education.

One major concern of course, is salaries. This is issue pertains to different levels of experience for teachers in different ways.

A. Many teachers were due for a raise for over 6 or even 8 years and did not recieve and some did. Unfairness over as to why has been called out.
B. The starting salary for a starting level position in the Ministry of Defence (aka Army) for someone with only high school level education is the exact same wage as someone who has attended University and got a bachelor's degree as a teacher. Why, one might wonder?
C. Many teachers never recieve compensation for extra hours worked, such as watching examinations, and most of the time compensation is up to 1-2 years late.
D. Many teachers in Oman are assigned to what school district they work in. Teachers who have to rent in a area they do not live in recieve the same salary as teachers assigned to work right next to their homes or in their own villages. This issue needs to be addressed, either in more flexibility for where teachers are assigned work, or in salaries.

Another major concern is benefits. Many staff in other Ministries recieve regular raises and benefits (far be it from this OPNO as to wonder why). For example, the Diwan staff get free travel tickets each year for holidays, many other Ministries get interest-free mortgages. Teachers wonder why their Ministry is so over budget, and not yet completed construction, and feel whoever planned parking for that monstrosity should be shot [okay, so the shooting recommendation is just me].
Examples:

a. Female teachers with children under 2 years of age would like either improved maternity leave or daycare facilities subsidized near their areas of work.
b. Sports teachers currently teach up to 5 forty-minute classes a day OUTSIDE in the sun. They'd like an AC gym room (not even that big) or in the very least, showers for their students. OPNO would settle for the Ministry of Education working outside in the sun from 7:30-1:30 PM everyday for 1 week;) and see how that feels.
c. So many toher examples of pure ridiculousness that I can't even get into them all without formally interviewing some teachers.

The Ministry had "apparently" addressed these issues by sending an expert to talk about it on Oman TV. They addressed only one issue teachers asked for, and ignored the rest. So the strike goes on.




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