Teachers Association calls an indefinite strike on Tuesday

Additional reporting by Zaheena Rasheed

The Teachers Association of Maldives (TAM) has announced an indefinite strike starting on this Tuesday (September 23) should the government not meet its demands for reform.

Members at a meeting held in Ameeniyya School on Friday night resolved to stop teaching indefinitely if the government did not adhere to demands which include revised pay, protection of teachers and students, acceptance of TAM, as well as general improvements to the sector.

“Once we strike, there is no turning back. The options are death or success. God willing, we will only stop once we have achieved success,” TAM president Athif Abdul Hakeem said at the meeting.

Teachers will repeat April’s ‘black protest’ by attending work dressed all in black tomorrow (September 21), and have promised to halt lessons on Tuesday if authorities fail to initiate talks by Monday.

“If the [government] does not make use of the opportunity for talks, we will strike indefinitely,” he said.

Despite repeated requests for discussions, the Education Ministry has refused to engage with the TAM, Athif said.

“We have expressed concern over issues in the education sector and called for talks in six different letters. They did not answer any letter or call for talks or give us information. This means they do not accept Maldivian teachers.”

Athif claimed education sector policymakers had deceived President Abdulla Yameen of the issues facing the education sector, and said he had hope Yameen would address the challenges.

“President Yameen does not know of the issues we teachers face. President Yameen has been deceived. Appointed leaders are showing him a different picture.”

The association has threatened direct action on a number of occasions in recent months.

“We are only asking to be treated fairly. There already is a huge gap between teachers’ pay and the pay for less qualified persons doing less work in other institutions. And now they have increased pay for some,” he told Minivan News in February.

“This is about their children’s rights, improving the education sector is a national issue. The less we spend on this sector, the more we will have to spend on prisons. But if parents don’t act, and if the government refuse to act, we will go on strike. But only as a last resort,” said Athif.

Prior to April’s demonstration, the government reportedly refuted the claims made by the Teacher’s Association, warning against any activities that might negatively affect students.

Athif has previously noted his organisation’s desire to continue teaching until all other options had been exhausted.

Other major issues raised by TAM have concerned improving the education sector and the quality of services provided. According to the association, qualified young graduates are turning away from the sector due to poor pay and working conditions.

In February the organisation also released a report titled, ‘Education sector in a deep pit’ which highlighted the state’s perceived “total disregard” towards the sector.

The report stated that 60% of schools in the Maldives are run without a principal, contrasting reduced spending on education with significant increases in areas such as the military, political posts, and independent institutions.

Individual teachers have highlighted insufficient overtime pay, overdue salaries, inadequate resources. and poor government oversight as major issues of concern,


14 thoughts on “Teachers Association calls an indefinite strike on Tuesday”

  1. Maldives used to have a leader who, even with all his faults, listened to the needs of the people. He lasted 3 years until a coup overthrew him. Then you people chose to vote for the coup leaders who are known to not care about the needs of the people. The only reason Asandha is still up is because it would be political suicide to revoke it.

    If you voted for Yameen then you have no right to complain now. You should get on your knees and beg for forgiveness for putting us through this hell.

  2. Here's a question for the teachers - will you accept another empty promise and go back to work?

  3. Education, knowledge, skills ... the foundation for the future of the youth ... the biggest threat for a autocratic govrnment too

  4. Again MDP works with sectors to undermine Yameen. A solution is an establishment of Madrasa education and replace fail secular propaganda education which turns Maldives from Islam.

  5. @Rihaakuru. Nasheed was a dictator and he even don't listen to his own people . He was not a leader and but more like a Thug.

    He was not a team player but a law breaker.

    He is the man who is creating violence in this country and he is the man who advocate to bring thugs to fight ?

    He is a man of violence .

    He is a two face man and on peripheral , he will talk nice and when you turn back, he will won't give a shit about what he said.

  6. One thing is Education and another Indoctrination. What I saw in Maldives was INDOCTRINATION. A country that does not History, Literature, Geography, Music, Drama... and gives orders not to teach Evolution, which is central in Biology, or human behavioural biology when it comes to uses and abuses of substances like alcohol, or homosexuality...

    Do you really think that reading over and over again the pre-medieval book will save you? I call that wishful thinking and wasting time. Remember that we live *ONLY* once.

  7. @ He even dont listen,a two face man,will wont .Seriously Hero you really really need to attend a basic grammer class.When you say something Hero,you gotta back it up with facts.Anybody including Omar bin Abdul naseer also can say that Yamin is the devil incarnated,a psycopathatic murder who single handedly killed poor Frashim

  8. It's very simple. Take the following groups of people:

    (1) Members of Majlis.
    (1) Ministers.
    (2) Deputy Ministers.
    (3) The top brass of the military and police.

    Now take a teacher and compare with those above. Which one contributes more to society? Which one deserves more respect and fair treatment for their hard work?

    Doesn't take a genius to figure that out does it? This is not a party political issue. This is a serious national issue.

  9. Teachers strike is initiated by Nasheed and he is behind this and he don't want us to have little peace .

    I wonder what other civil servants get 3 months holiday in a year except Teachers ?

  10. Hero

    What you write, my dear, is reason enough for teachers to call for reform in the educations system. We cannot become a dynamic nation without educating our people. Hero, what is that has you support the very people who failed you?

  11. @hero,
    May I ask you what you are doing in the big boys space? Are you aware of the stupidity you resemble infront of these fine gentle human beings?

    You are always spreading hatred, and nothing sensible comes out of you. You deserve to be in such tragedy that everyone wants you dead or vanished into thin air.
    Why dont you open haveeru and promote your trash there? People like you are normal in that space and so you would not feel like a complete moron. Hehe what you say?

  12. @Aastar. I guess you may be one of the people who are responsible for these kind of violence and people losses .

    But bare in mind that your death threat will not stop me writing here

  13. by the way, this vary Nasheed when he was in power, first thing he did was to cut the teachers Salary ? why on earth now he sees that Salary is too low for those teachers ?

    This Gov. had not reduced a single cents from thier salary.

  14. @hero

    Death Threat?? Haha!! Thats the problem with you people. You always accuse someone of something when when you don't like him. why are you so anti-nasheed that even when you reply to a comment, another comment rise after it claiming nasheed is a d***. That's no way to treat someone who tried to run your country under many circumstances. learn to respect and you will earn some respect from the people around you.

    Seeing your grammar, I suspect you must be a gasim supporter. Never mind, I understand that the human brain can get even worse.

    remember to attend that grammar class someone above has told you about.
    I highly recommend it!!


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