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Chahed calls on teachers to resume classes, reaffirms government's commitment to dialogue as early as Monday

Published the:  20/04/2018

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(TAP) – Prime Minister Youssef Chahed called on secondary school teachers to resume classes and return the grades next Monday, while reiterating the government's commitment the same day to dialogue and review their claims.

In a statement aired Friday night on the television news of the national channel 1, Chahed said that a blank year is no longer a "mere eventuality" if the stalemate continues but "a real possibility".

He said that parents are worried about the future of their children, now "threatened because of the open strike launched for four days and the retention of grades for three months, which has negatively affected the level of education and on orientation ".

The Prime Minister said the open strike "threatens national exams which exacerbates parents' apprehension about the future of their children," stressing that "there is no justification for a blank year whatever the differences ".

"I am convinced that educators do not want a blank school year and the overwhelming majority of them want to make the school year a success," he said.

He recalled in this regard that the President of the Republic had reaffirmed in his talks with the social partners that there is no alternative to dialogue and that the government "does not need pressure" to deal with the social demands of the teachers.

"We are dealing with a positive spirit of social demands, especially those of teachers who fulfill a noble mission and the whole of society is indebted to them," he added.

Chahed recalled that social negotiations in the civil service and the private sector will begin next week, but said that the satisfaction of the material demands of educators or other sectors is not "just a wish", but remains dependent on the financial situation of the country.

"We still have a chance to avoid a blank year, the only solution is to see things resume their normal course and see the dialogue continue," he said. He said his social partner, the UGTT, shares with the government the same concern to save the school season.

The union announced Friday afternoon that it convened an urgent meeting of its National Executive Office for Saturday at 5 p.m.

Speaking at the 8th Congress of the Regional Union of Tozeur, Secretary General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT),

Noureddine Taboubi, said that "the government uses the file of secondary education to conceal its failure," adding that "'it is the only responsible for the current situation that the country is going through