Logar teachers long for having own homes
PUL-I-ALAM (PAN): Schoolteachers in central Logar province say they have been waiting over the past three years for allotment of land plots under a township programme.
The township for teachers was inaugurated three years ago by Deputy Education Minister Mohammad Asif Nang, and teachers have since submitted applications for plots.
But their dream to have their own houses had not come true so far, remarked Mohammad Akbar, a high school teacher in the Mohammad Agha district.
He complained the low-paid teachers had been on job for more than 30 years, but remained deprived of their basic needs.
A Mohammad Agha district education official, Faqir Mohammad, called the lack of own homes a collective problem of teachers. He said the district education department had shared the issue with high-ups in the province and at the centre, but to no avail.
The official feared the land allocated for the proposed township for teachers could be usurped by powerful individuals as part of the growing land-grab culture in the country.
A Pul-i-Alam high school teacher, Mohammad Ishaq Stanikzai, said the education department had not been able to address the concerns of teachers about the township.
He said teachers had time and again approached the education department, the provincial council and the governor's office to provide them land plots under the scheme, but nothing had happened.
"I’m living in a small rented house. Like me, there are many teachers who are living in even more difficult conditions due to lack of their own houses," he said.
Logar council chief, Dr. Abdul Wali Wakil, said they had raised their voice for the rights of teachers and had repeatedly asked the authorities concerned to address their problems.
He said the land granted for the township was disputed as it had been claimed by some individuals and alternatives available for the scheme in other parts of the province had security problems.
Education Director Mohammad Akbar Stanikzai said efforts were in place to provide teachers in Pul-i-Alam, Baraki Barak, Khushi and Mohammad Agha district land plots.
He said President Karzai had issued a decree granting plots to teachers under the township programme, but the land belonged to the agriculture ministry. He said the land was yet to be handed over to the education department.
Agriculture and Livestock Director Humayun Omar, however, said his department had fulfilled its responsibility for earmarking the land for the township.
He said the major problem in Logar was ownership claims by individuals over public lands -- something that has delayed the township.
Mayor Saifullah Mujahid said the land should be handed over to the municipality which would build the township. He said powerful individuals had claimed the land a month after the township was inaugurated.
There are 3,152 teachers in 272 schools operating in Logar.
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