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Teachers lash out at govt for failing to keep promises

Teachers lash out at govt for failing to keep promises

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Oct 05, 2017 - 12:47

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A number of educators, marking Teachers Day in Kabul on Thursday, hit out at the government for failing to keep its promises to resolve their problems, particularly about pay raise and residential plots.

Sabira, a teacher at Mohammad Akbar Khan Pamir High School in Arzan Qimat area, told Pajhwok Afghan News she have been in the profession for the past 26 years but her salary was still inadequate and lacked her own house.

She received only 10,000 afghanis in monthly salary, but paid 5,000 afghanis in house rent and spent the rest on meeting her family needs, the teacher complained.

“Having no house is my major problem. When a teacher is not focused on his/her job, he or she cannot teach students properly,” Sabira remarked, stressing the teacher's role in training and educating children. The government’s inattention would have negative consequences, she warned.

Rahima (not a real name), principal at a school in the capital, said she had been working for the last 30 years. Her salary was increased to 16,000 afghanis three years ago.

Faced with many problems due to high living costs in Kabul, she said the government paid little attention to the contribution of teachers, who were yet to be given the housing facility.

“Teaching is a holy profession because it lays the foundation of societyinfo-icon. A society having a weak foundation is bound to face crises,” Rahima observed.

Lack of the accommodation facility, low salaries, little privileges, absence of modern teaching systems and  non-implementation of capacity-building programmes were the main problems facing the teachers, she explained.

Hadia, another teacher in the Arzan Qimat neighbourhood of Kabul, said: “I receive 7,000 afghanis in monthly salary. But the payment is often delayed from one to another. I'm obliged to borrow money from others in such situations.”

With 11 years of experience, she also grumbled about inadequate pay that could hardly meet her needs.

The Ministry of Educationinfo-icon says around nine million students are enrolled in 17,000 schools, taught by 200,000 teachers -- 33 percent of them womeninfo-icon.

On September 25, 2014, President Ashraf Ghani  had spoken of plans for improving teachers’ living conditions and education quality. He has tasked a special commission with working on enforcing the plans.

He had said reforming the work law, providing long-term loans, rights according to the work environmentinfo-icon, distributing residential land plots and streamlining posting procedures would take effect in six months.

Ministry of Education spokesman Kabir Haqmal said the teacher recruitment procedure had been prepared and referred to the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Services Commission (IARCSC) for implementation.

About the salary of teachers, he said the issue had been added to the Civil Services Law and would be referred to the Ministry of Justice. He added 85,000 teachers had been given residential plots and the process was still underway.

mds/mud

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