Teachers in Quneitra Underpaid While Schools Remain Understaffed

Rates for substitute teachers per hourly wage is not enough to buy a falafel sandwich daily, according to educators

Syria’s Education Ministry is carrying out an attempt to raise the rate of an hour of instruction for teachers amid discussion in the economic council around the amount of the increase which could be set to double.

In a recent session for teachers in one of the displaced camps in the Damascus countryside, a member of the Quneitra province said most of the instructional period was spent chatting on Whatsapp. Despite rejecting this behavior and the lack of respect of some of the teachers for the duties entrusted to them, there were many factors pushing the school departments to overlook taking punitive measures against teachers that behave in such a way. The first of these reasons, in our opinion, is the lack of teaching staff in schools, with the shortage covered by appointing substitute teachers to give instructional hours. If we are to be realistic and logical, the compensation for substitute teachers per hourly wage is inadequate — one of the teachers even said the amount is not enough to buy a falafel sandwich daily.

If we assume for the sake of argument that the amount was sufficient for a substitute teacher and the amount the figurative teacher receives from the education session is 150 Syrian pounds ($0.70), the total at the end of the month is about 13,000 pounds ($60) for the full month.

The harsh living situations of Syrian families are not hidden from anyone, especially fixed income families, with an increase in prices that has reached an insane level. According to reports of some research centers and economic analysts, individual family spending is about 1,000 pounds daily, while teachers earn an hourly teaching wage of 150 pounds, which is not enough to take care of themselves let alone a whole family.

Head of the Quneitra teachers, Khalid Abdullah, said that the issue of fair hourly wages for substitute teachers was one of the highest priorities of the Education Ministry at the current time, and very soon there would be measures taken by the ministry to improve the living conditions for this segment, which would reflect positively on the stability of the education process and substitute teachers.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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