April 19, 2018
Teachers in the Dominican Republic are taking to the streets to demand better working conditions and more funding for public education. On April 13, thousands of teachers held a protest in front of the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Education in Santo Domingo, the capital of the country.
The massive protest is a culmination of a confrontation that began in February between the Dominican Teacher’s Association (ADP, for its Spanish initials), the teachers’ union, and the Ministry of Education. The conflict originated when Andres Navarro, Education Minister, announced the appointment of the country’s regional directors without calling for a public contest to recruit candidates.
Among some of the teachers’ demands are pension increases every three years, medical leave as well as an improved school breakfast for students. During the protest, teachers noted the low nutritional quality of the school breakfast. Every once in a while, in fact, the media reports many ongoing cases of intoxication due to consumption of school breakfast.
Coincidentally, the massive response by teachers took place on the 48th anniversary of the ADP founded during a time of rising social struggles in the midst of the authoritarian, right wing regime of Joaquin Balaguer.