Teachers call for salary hike in Bahrain


Carrying placards and banners, the teachers from primary, intermediate and secondary schools assembled outside the Ministry of Education in Isa Town, demanding salary increase from 20 to 30 per cent. The other demands include overtime allowance, bonus, promotion and benefits for the retired teachers.


“The teachers were given a raise in 2004 and since then there has been no revision of their payscales. We want a 30 per cent increase in our salaries. There should also be transparency in the recruitment and promotion of teachers,” Khalil Aradi, an English language teacher from Bilad Al Qadeem Secondary school told the Tribune.


According to the organisers, the Ministry of Interior had permitted them to protest. Last month the teachers had to postpone their rally because they did not take permission.


Bahrain Teachers Society president Mahdi Abudeeb said, “We have repeatedly urged the Ministry of Education to look into our demands but in vain.
“The government is not bothered about the 13,000 families affected. We are upset with the attitude of the authorities and plan to send a letter to the

Royal Court

,” he said.


According to MP Shaikh Jassim Al Moamin, about 4,500 teachers recently signed and sent petitions to the Prime Minister, Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and the Crown Prince, Shaikh Salman bin Hamaad Al Khalifa.


A group of teachers carrying banners and placards stood in front of the entrance as ministry officials left the premises.


Al Wefaq deputies attended the rally to express solidarity.


MP Jalal Fairooz told the Tribune, “About 30 per cent government employees are in the teaching profession which looks after the future generations. But the teachers are not being looked after by the ministry. We have questioned the Minister of Education, Dr. Majeed bin Ali Al Nuaimi, several times in parliament but have got no positive response. The surplus of BD256 million in the 2006 budget should be used for teachers’ welfare. He said about 55 per cent of the teachers were women who had been deprived of their rights.


Jalila Al Salman, a senior teacher in Khawla School in Gudaibiya, told the Tribune, “Female teachers face lot of problems in the schools. A large number of teachers taking part in the rally shows that the female teachers need help. “More teachers from intermediate schools would have taken part in the protest but could not as the ministry issued an order saying that they had to assess exam papers at various centres in the five governorates.”


The Assistant Undersecretary for Administration Affairs at the Ministry of Education said in a statement the department had no right to take decisions on salary hike and it was up to the government to decide on the matter.


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