Unemployed graduates stage second sit-in in Bahrain
Hundreds of unemployed Bahraini university graduates staged their second sit-in protest of the month at the education ministry on Saturday, September 8, an AFP correspondent witnessed.
The protestors, mostly graduate teachers who had never been employed, denounced in a statement "the hodge-podge policy adopted by the (education) minister to fix the problem of unemployment of university graduates."
On Monday, Education Minister Muhammad Jassim Al-Ghatam responded to the first sit-in on September 1 by promising jobs for 900 unemployed graduates, mainly as teachers. But the protestors Saturday said the measures were not enough because "the number of unemployed university graduates is greater than the ministry announced and is rising past 2,000 graduates."
Such protests are rare in the Gulf monarchies, where demonstrations over social issues are often banned. Members of Bahrain's consultative council estimate the unemployment figure at 25 percent, or between 20,000 and 30,000 Bahrainis from a mostly young population who account for 60 percent of the country's 700,000 residents. — (AFP, Manama)
© Agence France Presse 2001
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