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Teachers warn of widespread protests if their demands ignored

13 Jan 2021 - 19:43
13 Jan 2021 - 19:43

KABUL (Pajhwok): Hundreds of teachers on Wednesday protested at the call of Afghanistan Teachers Council in capital Kabul, demanding equalization of their salaries with employees of other government departments.

The protest was carried out a week after the Wolesi Jirga or lower house of the parliament approved the equalization of salaries draft and pledged not to approve the 1400 fiscal year’s budget until the proposal was endorsed by the government.

Around 200 teachers participated in the protest demonstration organized by Afghanistan Teachers Council in Kabul.

Fazl Ahmad Fazl, head of the council, that their rally was part of movement for equalization of salaries of teachers.

The government has repeatedly promised increasing teachers’ salaries, but it did nothing in practical so far, he said.

Fazl said they would expand their demonstration if the government ignored their demand.

When the government has no commitment about teachers, it would also have no commitment for education, he said.

Mahbob Alaha Osmani, deputy head of the council, said that nonpayment of wages to managers and school principles, nonpayment of transport fare, high number of students in one class, more teaching hours and duality in the salary system were their major problems.

Osmani said teachers did not want more privileges but wanted their rights. The president should either control the free market or mange salaries according to increasing prices, as one US dollar was accounted for 40 afghanis in early years but now the rate has increased and teachers still received the same amount of salaries, he said.

The protestors in their resolution letter said despite huge amount of foreign aid pouring into Afghanistan over the last two decades, rampant corruption, non-commitment of government caused the past problems to persist.

Najiba Arian, a spokesman of the Ministry of Education, said that teachers would not be exempted from the equalization of salaries of civil workers if the issue was discussed by relevant organs.

She said some suggestions regarding a pay raise for teachers have been shared with relevant organs and hoped the matter would be paid attention.

mds/ma

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