SANTO DOMINGO – Thousands of Dominican teachers gathered on Friday outside the Education Ministry to advance a long list of demands.
The protest coincided with the 48th anniversary of the founding of the Dominican Teachers Association (ADP) and included calls for improvements to meal programs for their students.
Clad in blue, the teachers demanded wage equality across the different levels of education and an increase in pension payments for retirees every three years, as per law.
Lawmaker and ADP president Eduardo Hidaldo told reporters that Education Minister Andres Navarro aims to privatize public education and accused him of “hindering” the association and of trying to roll back benefits acquired by teachers over the years.
“There is a series of provocations and a campaign against teachers.” said Hidaldo. “That is why they have come to defend themselves today.”
The protesters also renewed their objection to a ministry regulation that took effect last November changing the way in which the school system’s regional directors are chosen.
The ADP mounted a nationwide 48-hour strike over that issue in February.