Under the banner of "OTS", thousands of teachers strike in Cameroon

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Cameroonian publich school teachers have been on strike for three weeks. Despite the government's promises, not all teachers are convinced.

Citing deteriorating conditions and unpaid salaries, some dating back years. Cameroonian publich school teachers have been on strike for three weeks.

putting the education of hundreds of thousands of children on hold.

"OTS, OTS !", videos circulating on social media show pupils from the Douala based Banaberi highschool protesting.

As they chant OTS an acronym standing for “On a trop supporté” meaning we have endured too much, tehy joined the teachers’ strike in Cameroon. Three weeks into the mobilization, the school system is heavily impacted.

Walking with her friends, Marie Louise Mbadje is just one of many worried high school seniors.

As she wakls with her friend,Marie Louise Mbadje is just one of many worried high school seniors: "We’ll have to sit the high school diploma exam in just a few months but we don’t know how we will do it. Teachers are absent and during the essay session, which started last week, it was very difficult. Substitute teachers supervised the exams because our teachers weren’t there."

Behind the banner OTS, teachers who refuse to work citing deteriorating conditions and unpaid salaries, some dating back years. The collective OTS has brought together union’s members and non-union members. The death of a teacher a few days ago has grieved an entire nation and further convinced teacheres like Bonaventure Kougang of the importance of the strike: "Our collegue Hamidou passed away after ten long years of good and faithful service at the Beka highschool yet, with no civil servant status. It is ourtrageous and it hurts. We can say that the Cameroonian state kills its teachers."

The collective now demands 181 billion CFA francs for teachers return to classes. According to them, the amount is equivalent to the money the state owes teachers. After concertations the governement decided to address the teachers' grievances, vowing to pay gradually.

"The government proposes to pay in the following months 25 billion CFA Francs, Emmanuel Sadi the Communicationminister annoounced. The balance, approximately 31 billion nine hundred million CFA franc will be paid in 2023."

If the move aims at convincing teachers to end the strike, for now, not all strikers are ready to back to classes.

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