“The teacher works with death in the soul”

During a press conference held this Thursday, September 1, Antoine Manuma, president of the National Federation of Trade Unions in the Teaching and Education Sector of Burundi (Fnaseeb) spoke of the challenges that undermine the education sector. education. “There is a kind of descent into hell of the quality of education from basic school

During a press conference held this Thursday, September 1, Antoine Manuma, president of the National Federation of Trade Unions in the Teaching and Education Sector of Burundi (Fnaseeb) spoke of the challenges that undermine the education sector. education.

"There is a kind of descent into hell of the quality of education from basic school to higher education". A bitter observation by Antoine Manuma, president of the National Federation of Unions in the teaching and education sector of Burundi on the occasion of the official launch of the activities of this organization.

“The teacher is devalued, humiliated and frustrated, he cannot be productive in the context of malaise and demotivation. The quality of education is depreciating day by day. This affects the future of the country's daughters and sons,” he laments.

For the Fnaseeb, since the educational reform, negative repercussions have been recorded: programs not adapted to teachers and students, teaching strategies difficult to apply because of lack of mastery of the language of learning.

Poor planning also taints training. This federation denounces the duplication in the development of teachers, the non-granting of living expenses and the humiliation of teachers subject to retraining.

“The reforms were initiated without analyzing the strengths and weaknesses. Faced with the shortcomings observed; some want the old system to return,” recommends Antoine Manuma.

The president of the Fnaseeb makes it known that the teachers redeployed in 2016 and 2017 lead a difficult life. “Some were forcibly transferred away from their homes. The situation becomes more complicated with life becoming very expensive,” he laments.

“The health of those living with chronic illnesses or those in old age is deteriorating, their voice is not heard. The places they left or the vacant places are taken up by new ones. It's a paradox! And to add, it's unfair! », Insists this trade unionist.

According to him, it was agreed that teachers redeployed away from their homes will gradually return to their original schools depending on the availability of places.

The Fnaseeb also deplores the government's withdrawal from the FLE (Foundation for the Housing of Teaching Staff). "Unions affiliated to Cosesona (the special coalition of teachers' unions for national solidarity) exercise the monopoly of the management of the FLE".

This has had serious consequences: “The cessation of State support of 200 million BIF per month. The increase in the contribution from 6,000 to 12,000 BIF. Discrimination in access to services for teachers not affiliated with Cosesona. Questionable management and inaccessibility of university staff”.

Other reasons lead to school and academic losses. Manuma points to the difficult access to quality education for children from less well-off families. He also talks about overstaffing due to insufficient infrastructure. There are also schools without teaching aids, the demotivation of the teacher because of a derisory salary, the closure of university restaurants.

Offers

The Fnaseeb demands that there be a tripartite framework made up of the State, trade unions and employers in order to tackle the implementation of wage policy. “The salary policy that we seek to apply does not take into account the high cost of living today. If we consider the problems of transport and the rise in food prices, the dialogue around the wage issue should be permanent to adapt to the circumstances of the moment, ”regrets the president of Fnaseeb.

For this trade union federation, it is necessary to set up school canteens to keep children in school, at a time when the rate of school dropouts continues to increase.

For Antoine Manuma, the Fnaseeb is concerned by decisions taken by the ministry having education in its attributions likely to cause the destabilization of teachers. It calls for dialogue with the social partners in the education sector. “Dialogue must be privileged”.

It should be noted that this National Federation of Trade Unions in the Education and Education Sector of Burundi (Fnaseeb) has four post-basic and higher education unions.

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