New teachers still wait for their first pay
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) appointed a few thousand teachers for the elementary and high schools across the three provinces of Erbil, Duhok, and Sulaimaniya and the Garmiyan area. Although, the teachers, who were mostly hired for the distant villages and towns, started teaching three months ago, they have yet to receive their first pay.
Many of the teachers have spent hundreds of thousands of dinars from their own pocket to pay for their daily expenses. Others were forced to borrow money from their friends, while some are still supported financially by their parents. Hemin Ahmad graduated in Salahaddin University's Education College last year and was hired by the KRG to teach in a distant village. He said, "I have been teaching since almost three months ago but haven't got paid yet. I still get money from my father for food and transportation."
Although, the KRG has provided some teachers in the remote villages with dormitories, and kerosene for heating purposes, Ahmad said he still spends a lot of money for food and transportation.
Sardar Amjard is another new teacher in a village which is 100 kilometers from Erbil city center. He and his wife, Chinar Hamad, who is also a teacher, are living in a rented house and have been teaching in the village for over three months. They criticize the government for delaying their pay.
"I understand that paying 17,000 newly appointed people in public sector takes time, but not that long. I feel embarrassed to ask my father to give me money for rent. People after marriage aren't supposed to be financially supported by their parents, but I am still supported by my father," Amjad said disappointedly.
Fresh teachers in Kurdistan Region make 550,000 to 600,000 dinars monthly and the government pays another 60,000 dinars for those who teach in distant villages. Due to the relatively low pay for teaching in public schools, most of the teachers rely on second jobs outside of teaching.