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Teaching Profession

The plight of Tajik teachers is a major concern, as their working conditions have deteriorated and do little to ease the sorry state of education. For instance, their monthly salaries dropped from US$12.8 a month in 1994 to US$6.89 in 1998.

University faculty members have, like other teachers, been subject to low salaries irregularly paid and sometimes paid only in credits or in kind. A considerable number have been among the emigrants to Russia and to other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) or have turned from teaching to employment with international organizations, nongovernment organizations, or private enterprises. This has had a particularly pronounced impact on regional universities, such as those set up since independence in Khorog, Kulyab, Kurgan-Tyube, and Tursun-Zade.

Until the early 2000s, the number of teachers showed a fluctuation nearly identical to that of the number of students, and teacher-student ratios were actually at higher levels than in the late 1980s (about 1:13 as compared with 1:14.5 earlier). However, when the 1995 school year opened, nearly 12,000 teachers, or one out of eight of those who made up the teaching faculty in 1994, did not return to work. In Khatlon Oblast alone, 4,000 teaching vacancies exist.

In order to compensate for inadequate numbers of teaching staff, upper-level students are being called upon to teach lower forms, with graduates and students still studying in the teaching colleges teaching upper forms and specialized courses. A number of students from the teaching colleges and universities have also been called upon to suspend their studies to teach in rural schools that would otherwise be forced to cease instruction. Teaching faculties have always been predominantly female and this only worsens, as male teachers are usually the first to leave.

Traditionally, Tajik culture has placed a high value on being educated and was known as a seat of learning in the past, with those members who were educated held in high esteem. The decisions of teachers were rarely questioned. The Soviet period reinforced this emphasis, widening the experience to the whole of society with universal education.

The average teacher's salary is established by law as "higher than the average salary for industrial workers." In November 1995, the average monthly industrial salary was 2,371 Tajik rubles (US$14.00), the average monthly salary for all workers was 1,032 Tajik rubles (US$6.25), and the average monthly teacher's salary was 601 Tajik rubles (US$3.65). In addition to salary, teachers are entitled by law to free health care, rent, electricity, and heating. Teachers with more than 10 years experience are also entitled to cost-free privatization of their flats or houses. Still, as with all forms of employment, there have been long periods of time, especially in 1994 and 1995, when teachers were not paid at all or were paid only in part or in kind.

The Ministry of Education has also focused its attention on the question of maintaining schools by the pedagogical staff and increasing their professional skill. Therefore—with the purpose of complex definition of qualification of the pedagogical workers, estimation professional, business, personal qualities of the teacher, final result of his labor in training and education of the pupils—a Rule about the order of realization of certification of the pedagogical workers and retraining of the staff was developed and was authorized on 4 June 1997 by Government Resolution No. 264. Under this rule, the functions of the certification commission and the order of its work as well as qualifying requirements for certification are determined.

The government regularly considers questions related to the increasing of wages and social welfare of educational workers. On 25 December 1997 the government accepted Resolution No. 550 "About Additional Payments and Extra Charges to the Working Tariff Rates and Salaries of the Workers of the Educational System of the Republic," which promoted increased social status of teachers.

Additional topics

Education - Free Encyclopedia Search EngineGlobal Education ReferenceTajikistan - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education