Afghanistan: Education union demands end to teachers’ salary and homes crisis
The Afghanistan Teacher Support Association (ATSA) has mobilised to get the national government authorities to fulfil their promise to increase teachers’ salaries and grant them land for their homes.
In Afghanistan, schools are closed, and teachers are facing many issues due to the pandemic, according to ATSA. Private sector teachers are facing significant financial issues as their salaries have not been paid due to unpaid fees by parents to the owners of private schools.
Notwithstanding the global public health crisis, ATSA said that teachers are paid very poorly in Afghanistan, with salaries not covering basic needs and living requirements. Teachers are not able to own their own homes due to low incomes.
In a rejection of the national annual budget, Afghanistan’s Parliament has called on the Government to fulfil its previous agreement to increase teachers’ salaries and grant them land to build their homes.
On 21 January, ASTA organised a press conference in support of the Parliament’s call for the 2021 national budget to allocate the necessary funds for teachers and in support of teachers' rights in the country’s Eastern Zone.
Around 150 teachers and representatives of private school teachers’ associations, private and State university professors, public school teachers, and media participated in the conference.
Dr. Abdul Latif Mal, ATSA deputy head for the national Eastern region, spoke in support of the parliament’s decision to increase teachers' salaries and provide them with land for their homes.
Media highlighted teachers’ financial woes
Participants also highlighted that the COVID-19 outbreak has severely weakened teachers financially in the country. They argued that it was essential for the government to take the issue seriously.
With 11 regional, national, and international media channels in attendance, the ATSA conference and its petition for teachers’ rights to be respected were widely covered.
The conference was successful as it caused the Afghan Government to reiterate its promises to teachers.