Rewmi, Dakar, Senegal, May 10, 2011
Anger: serious charges against the Yavuz Selim School Group of Dakar
by Fara Michel Dièye
Note: Rewmi is a news portal in Senegal that is mentioned in this list of Senegalese news sources maintained at Stanford University. The original article in French published on the Rewmi website can be read here.
The Teachers Union of the Yavuz Selim School Group (Groupe Scolaire Yavuz Selim), a Turkish school located in Dakar in front of the Cheikh Anta Diop University (a.k.a. University of Dakar), strongly objected to their working conditions. Speaking out against a "form of slavery,” these teachers intend to implement several plans of action against their director.
The problems they face are related to their poor working conditions, labor law violations, wages that according to them are meager, and also delays in payment of wages and the exploitation of personnel.
According to the press release they sent us, “a class brings in an average of 12,420,000 francs per month while the teacher sees only 130,000 CFA francs." [Translator’s note: the currency of Senegal is the CFA franc. The exchange rate as of Sep 2011 was around 465 CFA francs = 1 US dollar.]
Speaking out against a form of racism and nepotism, they point out that over a year ago at the elementary school located at Mermoz there was a story of a pedophile and deviant behavior reported in the news.
Launching a bitter attack on the director who they say "reigns like a true dictator," the teachers reveal that he refuses to even shake hands with teachers that he considers atheist because they wear amulets.
Funny and sad at the same time, the complainants attest that "because his daughter received a score of 6/10 in drawing, he flew into a rage, even going so far as to threaten any teacher who dared to give his daughter a failing grade."
Carrying the allegations further, they emphasize that any claim is synonymous with dismissal.
"In the manner of a true dictator, he managed to divide the Turkish and Senegalese staff of the General Director. It's the same poisonous atmosphere that exists at the elementary school in Thies and the kindergarten located in Sud Foire," the accusers assert. [Translator's note; Thies is a city about 25 miles east of Dakar; Sud Foire is about 10 miles west of Dakar, near the international airport.]
These teachers, organized in a union, are planning to boycott the proctoring and grading of entrance tests planned for May 14, and say they want to put in place other plans of action which could go so far as to declare the Director of the Elementary School "persona non grata.”
To get their side of the story, we tried several times to contact a responsible member of the accused group, but there was always no answer to the phone calls.
Fara Michel Dièye