520 school teachers fired for absence [Archives:2009/1228/Local News]

January 26 2009

Ali Saeed
SANA'A, Jan. 25 ) Up to 350 more teachers in the Amran governorate have been fired due to their unexplained long absence from work causing the breakdown of the educational process in many schools in the governorate.

With this dismissal, a total of 520 teachers have been fired from Amran state schools, leaving many teaching positions to be filled.

According to reports released last Thursday, the decision came in a meeting that was held last Wednesday between Kahlan Abu Shawareb, governor of Amran, and the Education Offices of the governorate.

The Supreme Council for Education Planning (SCEP) headed by Prime Minister Ali Mujawwar on Wednesday in Sana'a discussed the reality of public education, teachers and administration staff in the public schools, and the current obstacles to education in the country. The meeting also addressed the school administration's responsibility. In some cases of teachers repeatedly not turning up for work, the schools give the absent teachers their salaries anyway or even take the money for themselves.

Participants stressed the necessity of procedures to discover such illegal payments and bring them to justice.

The SCEP directed the Ministry of Education to intensify unannounced inspection campaigns in schools to promote better educational performance. Coordination between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance is the best means to reveal illegal payments, said the planning council. Unexpected inspections should be carried out to make sure that only teachers that attend their classes personally receive their salaries.

The SCEP called on the ministry make sure that teachers distributed to certain schools in governorates fulfill their duties there and not transfer to other governorates or even to other schools within that governorate.

Inhabitants in some districts of Amran last month complained that the absence of teachers in schools was hindering education, particularly in the rural areas.

Students from different districts in Amran last month informed the Yemen Times that the absence and irregular attendance of teachers had prompted them to drop out of school altogether.

The Amran Education Office fired up to 170 teachers who neglected their teaching jobs in December. At the time, Amin Al-Qudaifi, head of the office, had threatened to fire others if they continued being absent.

The governor of Amran approved the distribution of 1,800 teachers to the governorate's schools on Wednesday as part of the governorate's education plan for 2009.