Hundreds of young Moroccan teachers staged a protest at the education ministry in Rabat for the sixth consecutive week of a strike demanding job security and full civil service benefits.
The teachers want to become employees of the education ministry to access civil service benefitts including better pensions and the right to work in other regions.
Last month, police used water cannons to prevent about 10,000 teachers from spending the night in protest in front of parliament.
Education Minister Said Amzazi threatened to sack teachers who do not return to classrooms, saying the strike has affected seven percent of Morocco’s seven million students.
Morocco, which has avoided the turmoil in other countries during and after the 2011 Arab Spring, regularly sees protests though they rarely involve confrontations with police.
About 55,000 teachers out of 240,000 are on renewable contracts by regional education delegations since 2016 to address overcrowding in rural classrooms.
Morocco increased its education budget by 5.4 billion dirhams ($561 million) in 2019 to 68 billion dirhams ($7 billion) to boost access and improve infrastructure in difficult to reach areas.