Land for teachers’ housing has been made available in the Kalar district of Iraq, thanks to the efforts of the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union.
Bahashti Kalar (Kalar Paradise), the main teachers’ residential neighbourhood, was inaugurated on 28 August by H.E. Qubal Talabany, Deputy Prime Minister of Kurdistan’s regional government (KRG). The event was attended by members of the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU) Kalar Branch’s Secretariat, as well as a number of district officials, and comes after vigorous discussions with the KRG, the Garmiyan area’s administration, and the Investment Board.
“We urged Deputy Prime Minister Talabany to focus his attention on the educational process and teachers’ living conditions,” said KTU President Abdalwahed M. Haje. “All global education stakeholders, especially Education International, highlight the importance of teachers and the struggle for strong communities, and call in particular for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4.”
Budget and salary demands
The KTU also demanded that the appropriate budget be allocated to meet the essential requirements and needs of the education system, personnel, buildings, programmes, as well as the teaching methods.
The union also raised the reduction of teachers’ salaries, a decision made by the KRG in 2016 and implemented in 2017. They asked Talabany to cancel the salary reductions, so that teachers receive their due salaries, are motivated to perform their duties, and provide quality education. Talabany promised to do his utmost to meet all the teachers’ requests and expressed his will to continue working closely with KTU.
The residential project includes 1,500 one-floor and two-floor houses, as well as 450 apartments. The preliminary cost of a unit is estimated at US$3,500 – the initial US$1,000 is to be paid in advance, and the remainder paid by teachers in instalments spread over 14 years.