KABUL: As the country descends into economic crisis due to looming sanctions on the Taliban regime, the United Nation’s children’s agency has announced it will pay a monthly stipend to Afghanistan’s teachers, who have remained unpaid as most schools across the country remained closed since August last year.

The payments, of roughly $100 per month, would be paid in local currency to around 194,000 primary and secondary schoolteachers for January and February, and would be funded by the European Union, Unicef announced.

“Following months of uncertainty and hardship for many teachers, we are pleased to extend emergency support to public school teachers in Afgha­nistan who have spared no effort to keep children learning,” said Mohamed Ayoya, the representative for Unicef Afghanistan.

The country has been in economic crisis since August last year as foreign forces withdrew and Taliban took over. Restrictions on the banking sector due to sanctions left the new administration struggling to pay many public sector salaries including for teachers.

The international community has been grappling with how to engage with the Taliban without formally recognising their government, and has made education for girls a key demand when speaking with the group, according to diplomats.

The Taliban have been vague on their plans for girls’ education with many still unable to attend school in many provinces.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2022

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