Tunisian teachers demand better pay, protest work conditions

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisian high school teachers have taken to the streets of the capital to demand wage increases and improvements to what they call dire working conditions.

Thousands of protesters, many of them bused in from across the country, marched in Tunis on Wednesday, starting at the Education Ministry and finishing at the city’s main artery, Avenue Bourguiba.

Lassaad Yacoubi, a teachers’ union official, told the crowds “there are 500 schools without water or toilets and the roofs of many classrooms are dilapidated.”

Henda Ben Jemii, a teacher, wore a sign showing a schoolyard in Khaznadar, near Tunis, that was strewn with garbage.

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Tensions between teachers’ unions and the government, which believes their wage demands are too high, have been affecting high school education in the North African nation for months.

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