Afghanistan: Union ensures the distribution of allowances to unpaid teachers

published 9 June 2022 updated 12 July 2022

The National Teachers Elected Council (NTEC) has played a key role in ensuring that UNICEF’s badly needed emergency funds reach teachers across Afghanistan and advocating for secondary girls access to education be reinstated.

“During a meeting held at the UNICEF offices before the distribution of allowances with each teacher receiving 100US$, I was able to share my views and see them adopted on the most transparent way to distribute money to teachers,” NTEC President Fazel Ahmad Fazel stressed.

Transparency in the distribution of money

While an issue related to the number of teachers appeared – as some teachers, especially women teachers, were absent from the classroom –, the distribution was done through the teachers' bank accounts, and this largely ensured transparency, he went on to note.

Although it is very difficult to give an exact number, according to information received from the provinces, about 80% of the teachers have now received the money, he added.

He also explained that beneficiaries have been selected by UNICEF and the central and local offices of the Ministry of Education, the union playing a “supervisory role in this case, so that no teacher is forgotten or disadvantaged”.

Consequences of the distribution

This distribution of allowance has its positive and negative consequences, Fazel insisted.

On the positive side, he acknowledged, it was “a kind help” for those teachers who have a salary of less than 100US$.

He however mentioned two negative points:

  1. A slow distribution process: some teachers haven't received it yet.
  2. Teachers usually earning salaries higher than 100US$ only received the 100US$ allowance. The remaining amount hasn't been paid by authorities yet and teachers have been affected by this.

Education International believes, that whilst this initiative is welcome, it is a temporary and unsustainable solution. A permanent and more sustainable mechanism is needed for the payment of salaries to teachers in crises situations, as in Afghanistan.

NTEC taking the lead on quality inclusive education

NTEC is also continuing to mobilize and pressure the ministry to allow secondary girls to go to school by running a campaign across all provinces and will be holding a national conference at the end of July on what Afghan teachers need to ensure a quality education for all.

Education International General Secretary David Edwards commends NTEC for its leadership at this critical time. “While donors debate political viability of engagement strategies and the current Taliban rulers restrict rights on women and girls, NTEC is bravely taking the lead for its members and the students of Afghanistan under incredible pressure. They need and will continue to get EI’s solidarity, support and admiration.”