Afghan Government Unable to Pay Teachers

Thousands of teachers in the Northern province of Balkh protested against a delay in their pays yesterday. They boycotted classes to demonstrate for not having been paid in three months.

The protest, which started at the Shahabuddin High School, soon spread to all schools in the province. Reports also suggest that there have been protests in other provinces in the North too.

The protests come at a time when the government is trying to get its proposed budget approved by the parliament. The approval has been subject to fierce discussions for more than 45 days.

Many teachers and other government employees were expecting a pay rise in the new budget. However, no rise has been planned for them: Only a two-dollar rise in the stipends of the hadicapped and the martyrs' families has been proposed.

The salary for an Afghan teacher is $76 a month–an amount far less than what is required to lead a decent life. And with the government's inability to pay it for three months, many teachers have been forced to go under the burden of debt. Ironically, many "experts" working in the government have salaries in thousands of dollars while ordinary employees get no more than what a teacher does.

There has been no explanation to the delay by the government. Analysts link the problem to a financial crisis in the Karzai administration.

Related Articles:

  • "Life Is Hope": A report about a woman teacher, her financial struggles, and her school.

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