JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Contractual teachers on Wednesday protested against their dismissal in eastern Nangarhar province and demanded their permanent appointment in schools.
The protesters claimed the Department of Education had promised them permanent appointment but instead they were sacked.
About 30 protesters said they represented 1,130 contractual teachers who taught in Jalalabad city and 22 districts of the eastern province.
The teachers, who gathered in Pashtunistan square of Jalalabad city, announced a sit-in protest until their demands were met.
Sayed Arif Sadaat, a teacher in Najmuljihad high school who worked for three years as a contract-based teacher, said he was fired three months ago while his contract was to last for a year and his three month salary was unpaid.
Omid Arab, another teacher, said they had been promised official appointment without examination but the department failed to fulfill its promise.
Norul Rahman, a contractual teacher in Batikot district, said the provincial education department had earlier launched a campaign of volunteer teachers in the province and now intended to replace them with the contractual teachers.
However, education department officials cited lack of budget for their failure to extend the teachers’ contracts.
The department spokesman, Asif Shinwari, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the department had tried its best to extend the teachers’ contracts but due to lack of budget, they failed to do so.
“The president has ordered that appointment of 5th and 6th positions through open-competition and therefore teachers cannot be appointed without exam,” he said.
The contractual teachers are dismissed at a time when Nangarhar province needs 5,000 more teachers to overcome their shortage.
The Department of Education says 23,000 teachers are needed across the province against their current strength of only 18,000.