KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Hundreds of contractual school teachers on Saturday went on strike in the capital of southern Kandahar province against the delay in payment of their salaries.
The teachers gathered in front of Ahmad Shah Baba High School in Kandahar City, the provincial capital, and warned they would continue their strike until their salaries were paid. They said they had not received their wages since August 2018.
Mohammad Kabir, one of the protesting teachers, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he had not received his salary for the last past six months but he continued his job responsibly.
“The salary of a contract-based teacher is 8,000 afghanis which is very small but still delayed for months, all teachers have families and economic problems,” he said.
Kabir said they had repeatedly shared the issue with the provincial Education Department and each time they only got ‘promises that encouraged them to continue their job but finally they were forced to go on strike.
“This time, all the teachers have decided they would not attend classes until their salaries are paid”, he said.
Abdul Ghani, another teacher, said delay in their salaries had confronted them with economic problems and also impacted the education process in schools.
He also said he did not receive his salary for the last six months and had no another income source to feed his six-member family.
Ghani said their salaries were delayed due to unhealthy competition in the Education Department.
Nazar Mohammad Samimi, Kandahar education spokesman, rejected claims of unhealthy competitions in the department and said contractual teachers’ salaries were delayed because their wages were not part of the budgetary unit.
He said salaries of the contractual teachers were paid from a special budget and the process had to pass through the education department, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance.
“The new academic year has begun and the general budget usually arrives late, that is the reason teachers’ salaries are also postponed”, he added.
Samimi said salaries of only 20 percent of such teachers had been delayed while other teachers received their wages regularly.
He added the Ministry of Finance had recently directed the Education Department to pay salaries of the contractual teachers from the general budget and they would soon take steps in this regard.
Besides thousands of permanent teachers, more than 1,400 contract-based have also been hired in Kandahar schools.