Teachers from around Egypt gathered on Qasr El-Eini Street three blocks from Tahrir Square for the largest demonstration of its kind on Saturday, demanding top-down reforms at the Ministry of Education as well as increased wages and better conditions for learning in their schools.
Many political groups, such as the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, also joined in on the rally, which fell in the midst of widespread teacher strikes, although precise numbers on the participating schools and personnel widely varies by source.
The rally consisted of a main stage and many smaller groups that had assembled around teachers and other workers who chanted slogans and demands through megaphones.
The environment was far more jovial and peaceful than at the anti-emergency law protests in Tahrir Square, and it was strange to see the juxtaposition of teachers calmly protesting work conditions while soldiers occupied tanks and held machine guns on the other side of the Ministry gate.
The current Education Minister is Gamaleddin Moussa, who, like countless other top administration officials was loyal to former President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party.
Today, it was announced that teachers have agreed to suspend their strike for a week in the wake of new negotiations that will take a harder look at compensation and other grievances.
Photos: Garden City, Cairo – September 24. Striking teachers and their supporters rally in front of the Ministry of Education in Garden City, Cairo, on Qasr El Eini Street. Many protestors held signs demanding the resignation of the Education Minister Gamaleddin Moussa, and condemning wage cuts.