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Veteran teacher urges IEA to prioritize teachers

Veteran teacher urges IEA to prioritize teachers

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5 Oct 2023 - 17:45
Veteran teacher urges IEA to prioritize teachers
author avatar
5 Oct 2023 - 17:45

KABUL (Pajhwok): A veteran teacher, who spent 54 years of his life serving the education of the country, says the past governments paid little attention to teachers’ wellbeing and paid lowest salary, urging the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to give teachers a priority.

October 5 marks the International Day of Teacher. Pajhwok Afghan News held an exclusive chat with one of the teachers who spent more than five decades of his life contributing to the education system.

This veteran teacher terms the role of teachers as essential in the development and progress of the country and considers lack of attention to them a great mistake.

Mohammad Dawood Qalandari, 76, who served as a teacher for 54 years, is currently teaching in a private school in Kabul City. He complains about the lack of attention to teachers on the part of the government.

Qalandari started teaching in Gulbahar district of central Parwan province and worked there for two years before returning to Kabul where he was appointed the headmaster in Naderiya High School, Mohammad Ismail Hassanzai and finally retired in 2012.

After his retirement, Qalandari resumed teaching in 2013 at Ali Sina private school as headmaster.

He said teaching was a sacred profession and he loved his profession and has long been serving the education sector with a great interest.

No system paid serious attention to teachers’ wellbeing

“During Najib’s regime, one day I was dismissed from Ismail Hasanzai School. I was standing in the street when a young man came to me with his bodyguard. His name was Faizullah, who was my student. At that time he was the training head at KHAD (intelligence agency). He greeted me and respected me and took me home. It was one of my fond memories that my student had reached that level.”

But according to Qalandari, during that time, teachers were not paid serious attention in any system and it had been a big frustration.

For example, he said: “During the Democratic Republic, promises of houses and plots were made, but these promises were never fulfilled, and even now, Teacher’s Day is like normal days.”

According to him, in all regimes, especially during the republic government, when a lot of money flowed in and high salaries were given to government employees, teachers were paid the lowest salary.

In previous governments, the highest salary of a teacher was 12,000 afghanis and the lowest was 6,000 afghanis and currently with a slight difference, teachers receive the same amount of salary.

Qalandari expressed concern about the current situation of teachers and said: “Many teachers of my age who have retired run handcarts and have a subsistence lifestyle. During these two years, the teachers are not paid their salaries and their lives have been ruined.”

Referring to the situation of teachers in past decades, he said, although teachers’ salaries were low at that time, but a teacher had a coupon in addition to his salary, which allowed him to receive most of the basic food materials for free.

He added: “At that time, teachers’ income was enough only to buy vegetables and fruits, but today, they can buy only two bags of flour.”

Paying attention to improving the living condition of teachers by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is one of Qalandari’s wishes.

Students’ behavior is another issue

Qalandari says: “In the past students would try hard to learn their lessons, but now students pay less attention to their lessons and many misbehave with teachers.”

He recalled in the past students were disciplined, mostly interested in learning and education and would not be absent until having a reasonable excuse. “But now it is not like that, students come to school less prepared and stay absent for various reasons”.

‘Preventing girls from above 6th grade is worrying

Qalandari, who has always prioritized and paid attention to the education of girls in his family, says he is worried about the closing of the gates of educational centers to girls.

He added: “There have been significant changes in the education system over the years, but the prevention of girls from education is a concern for me. Female students are more capable than hard-working boys and have a good talent for learning.


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