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Students call off hunger strike in Algeria

March 14, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Dental students on hunger strike in Algeria [DR]

Dental students have decided to suspend their hunger strike after a letter from the secretary-general of the Ministry of Higher Education granted permission for a meeting with the student representatives yesterday.

“We received [yesterday] a call from the rectorate informing us of a meeting to which students’ representatives are invited. A decision was taken by common agreement with the other departments to suspend our hunger strike from this afternoon,” a student delegate of the Department of Dental Surgery at Mouloud University Mammeri of Tizi Ouzou, Aïssa Maïche confirmed yesterday.

The meeting will involve the respective Secretaries-General of the Ministries of Higher Education and Health and a representative of the Civil Service.

According to the delegate, the hunger strike will be suspended until the “proclamation of the results of the meeting”.

The suspension of our hunger strike and, at the same time, of the whole strike movement, is dependent on the results of this meeting. The satisfaction of our demands means the immediate cessation of our actions of protest

Maïche explained.

Four student delegates were evacuated to hospital yesterday after a scuffle broke out during a rally organised by students at the University of Es Senia in the Oran province.

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A sit-in in solidarity with the strikers was also organised in Oran.

On strike since November last year, dental students are demanding increased resident positions and reorganisation of the boarding school. They have been calling for the transition to step 16 on the salary scale, instead of the current 13, “in accordance with the commitments of the guardianship in 2011, following the reorganisation of the system of studies”.

The national coordinated effort is pressurising the government to tackle the issue of shortages of residences, the absence of internships and calls for better quality training.