TOLOnews.com, June 5, 2015
Government Ignoring Teachers Demands: Strikers
Based on the statistics, currently Afghanistan has more than 200,000 teachers across the country, getting an average salary from 7,000 (116 USD) to 13,000 (216) Afghanis
By Saleha Soadat
The teachers' strike has entered its sixth day but no government official has yet met with the strikers to listen to their demands, the protesters claimed on Saturday.
Dozens of teachers from different parts of Kabul gathered at Habibia High School on Saturday where they accused the government of being silent on the issue.
The strike started when teachers of Habibia High School of Kabul refrained from giving their classes due to what they called President Ashraf Ghani's failure to increase their salaries and provide them with land plots they had been promised.
Last year in a ceremony marking teacher's day in Kabul, Ghani promised to increase the salaries of teachers and to allot each of them a piece of land within six months – a process which has not happened.
As the days pass, more teachers join the protest, leaving class rooms empty for the past six days.
Reports suggest the strike is expected to spread to the provinces, threatening the education process in the country.
"As long as the officials do not address our legitimate demands, we will continue to strike," a female teacher Shahida warned.
"During these six days, no one from the ministry of education has come to us to hear our problems," a teacher Shamsullah Haqqani from Habibia High School told TOLOnews.
The strike, however, on the other hand has received mounting criticism.
MPs and analysts have strongly citicized the government for what they called derailing the education process in a situation that most of Afghanistan's population is either uneducated or less educated.
"The president is responsible for this situation because he had promised the teachers a land plot," a teacher Yar Mohammad Jabbarkhail said.
Senator Anarkali Honaryar called on the government to assess the demands of the teachers and put an end to their strike which she believes is causing a big blow to the country's education.
But the spokesman for ministry of education, Kabir Haqmal, told TOLOnews that the minister had already met with the protesters at the beginning of their strike.
Based on the statistics, currently Afghanistan has more than 200,000 teachers across the country, getting an average salary from 7,000 to 13,000 Afghanis.
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