Togo shuts schools after protests by students

Togo shuts schools after protests by students

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 8:35 pm

Togolese students on demonstration in Lome

Togolese students on demonstration in Lome

Togo on Tuesday temporarily shut all schools in the country, with the exception of universities, after a protest by students over repeated strikes by teachers, the government said.

Students poured onto the streets of the capital, Lome, calling for the resumption of classes and urging the authorities to meet the demands of educators.

The government said it had decided to impose the temporary shut-down as the demonstrations were “capable of endangering the security and lives of pupils, their teachers and the population”.

The closure affects all schools in both the state and private sector with immediate effect “until further notice”, it added in a statement.

Services in education and health in the west African nation have been hit recently by walk-outs by labour unions demanding a salary raise for about 50,000 public sector workers.

The central labour movement has called for a fresh 72-hour strike beginning on Wednesday.

Togo’s government said it was determined to “continue talks with labour unions, with a view to bringing appropriate solutions to the situation to bring about a happy academic year”

But union officials said the government lock-down of schools was premature.

“We are not going to give up. We will fight to the last until our demands are met,” a union leader, Gilbert Tsolenyanou, said.

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