The teachers’ strike in Tanzania drew a storm of protests yesterday, with pupils in Dar es Salaam taking to the streets, walking more than two kilometres to demand their right to be taught. Police had to step in and disperse the children, who marched to government offices and asked the authorities to find an immediate solution to the crisis on a day that also saw four teachers in Mbeya charged with inciting their colleagues to stage a boycott.
Police used tear gas to disperse the angry pupils gathered at the regional commissioner’s office, demanding that the stand-off between their teachers and the government be resolved immediately. Pupils from Kawawa Primary School in Dar es Salaam marched to Regional Commissioner Said Meck Sadick’s office, only to find that he was unavailable. Undeterred, they asked the officers present to solve the teachers’ problems so that they could return to class. The officers promised the hundreds of children, who arrived at the offices at around 12pm, that they would order their teachers to return to work or face disciplinary action.
Pupils from eight primary schools in Tegeta tried to get to the Kinondoni district commissioner’s office but police dispersed them at Kunduchi. Pupils from Tabata Primary School in Dar es Salaam also attempted to march from their school to the local regional commissioner’s office but were intercepted at Buguruni.
The angry pupils said they took to the streets because “that would force the authorities to hear our voices”.