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Tunisia: General Union of Tunisian Students (Union générale des étudiants tunisiens, UGET); founders, student involvement, activities, objectives, structure and operation; location; demonstrations; requirements for the secondary school teaching certificate (Certificat d'aptitude pédagogique de l'enseignement secondaire, CAPES)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Direction des recherches, Commission de l'immigration et du statut de réfugié, Canada
Publication Date 26 September 2000
Citation / Document Symbol TUN35379.F
Reference 7
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Tunisia: General Union of Tunisian Students (Union générale des étudiants tunisiens, UGET); founders, student involvement, activities, objectives, structure and operation; location; demonstrations; requirements for the secondary school teaching certificate (Certificat d'aptitude pédagogique de l'enseignement secondaire, CAPES), 26 September 2000, TUN35379.F, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3f7d4e2623.html [accessed 22 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

According to a May 2000 article published in the Paris magazine L'Express,

[translation]

The General Union of Tunisian Students (UGET), which for a long time was the main student union, has become an extreme, far-left splinter group (18 May 2000, 63).

The UGET was founded in Paris in 1953, with the support of the Neo-Destour party led by Habib Bourguiba, at a time when Tunisia was still under French administration (Angel 1990, 536; IPS 29 Apr. 1988). The UGET collapsed in 1971 following internal quarrels between the leftist student faction and that affiliated with the ruling party, the Socialist Destourian Party (Parti socialiste destourien, PSD), which subsequently became the Rally for Culture and Democracy (Rassemblement pour la culture et la démocratie, RCD) (ibid.). The UGET resumed its activities in 1988 following a student congress held on the campus of the University of Tunis (ibid.).

In 1993, the UGET deplored the fact that the Tunisian authorities were using the pretext of the struggle against Muslim fundamentalism to restrict basic freedoms (Le Monde 19 Mar. 1994). In May 1993, the Tunisian authorities arrested Naoufal Ziadi, Secretary General of the UGET, following student strike activity to protest against a proposed reform of higher education (ibid. 21 May 1993). In December 1995, Bachir Abid, a member of the UGET's executive council, was among the students arrested following student strikes at Tunisian universities (AFP 12 Dec. 1995).

In March 1998, a dozen students who were UGET members and sympathizers, among them Taha Sassi, Ali Jallouli, Rachid Trabelsi, Ridha Oueslati, Habib Hasni, Qaïs Oueslati, Lotfi Hammami, Haikal Mannai, Imen Derouiche, Noureddine Benticha, Jalal Bouraoui and Najib Baccouchi, were arrested at the end of student demonstrations to protest against conditions of study at Tunisian universities (Amnesty International Mar. 2000). Country Reports 1998 states that these students were accused of "defamation, dissemination of false information, and association with the illegal Communist Workers Party, after the students reportedly criticized the Government and its university policies" (Feb. 1999, Section 2a).

An article published on the In Defense of Marxism website reports that student demonstrations took place in 1999 in Tunisia primarily to protest against a reform involving the secondary school teaching certificate (Certificat d'aptitude pédagogique de l'enseignement secondaire, CAPES) (Apr. 2000). The students also protested against the 100 percent increase in the price of meal tickets, which went from 100 to 200 millimes, and the increase in registration fees to 30 dinars (ibid.).

A document entitled English in Tunisia, prepared by the British Council in Tunisia, reports that since 1997

the CAPES is required from graduates who wish to pursue a career in state sector teaching. The CAPES is a national exam taken by graduates in their respective subject specialism two years after initial graduation. Success in the CAPES allows recruitment to a teaching post at primary or secondary level.

No additional information on the UGET and the secondary-level CAPES could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Agence France Presse (AFP). 12 December 1995. "Tunisia Dissidents Could Face Torture: Amnesty." (NEXIS)

Amnesty International. March 2000. Tunisia: The Administration of Justice in Tunisia. (AI Index: MDE 30/04/00.)

[Accessed 25 Sept. 2000]

Angel, William. D. 1990. Youth Movements of the World. London: Longman Group UK.

The British Council, Tunisia. April 2000. "English in Tunisia."   [Accessed 25 Sept. 2000]

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1998. 1999. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 25 Sept. 2000]

L'Express [Paris]. 18 May 2000. Dominique Lagarde. "La Tunisie sous la répression : la fronde des jeunes."

In Defense of Marxism. April 2000. "Tunisia: Mass Protests Against the Regime.". [Accessed 25 Sept. 2000]

Inter Press Service (IPS). 29 April 1988. Mahfoudh Dhaoui. "Tunisia: Students on Verge of Reviving Union." (NEXIS)

Le Monde [Paris]. 21 May 1993. "Tunisie : arrestation du secrétaire général de l'Union générale des étudiants." (NEXIS)

_____. 19 March 1994. Jacques de Barrin. "La Tunisie tétanisée : les élections présidentielles et législatives ne devraient pas modifier notablement une vie politique paralysée par la menace islamiste." (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases

REFWORLD

Internet sites including:

World News Connection.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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