UN organizations and agencies called on Monday for resuming the payment of salaries for nearly half of Yemeni teachers and school employees, estimated at 160,000, who have not received their salaries regularly since 2016.
This came in a joint statement by the Education Cannot Wait Fund (ECW), the Global Partnership for Education, UNESCO and UNICEF, on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day, which is celebrated this year under the theme“ Teachers: Leading in Crisis and Reimagining the Future. ”
“With salaries being suspended and schools constantly attacked, many teachers have been forced to find alternative sources of income to support their families,” the statement said.
According to the statement, the dire situation in Yemen – including the ongoing conflict, natural disasters, outbreaks of cholera, measles, polio and poverty – has resulted in more than two million children leaving school, while 5.8 million children, who were enrolled in school before the COVID-19 pandemic, are now at risk of dropping out.
Further delay in paying teacher salaries is likely to lead to a complete collapse of the education sector and affect millions of Yemeni children, especially the most marginalized groups, as well as girls, the statement added.
The joint statement warned that “leaving these children out of school exposes them to a great risk because of their resort to bad options, such as child labor, recruitment into groups and armed forces, child marriage, trafficking and other forms of exploitation and abuse.”
The statement called on the international community to unite in order to end violence against children in Yemen and to protect their health and their right to education. “Without a collective commitment to action, we will fail to achieve the 2030 Agenda, which is that no child or teacher is left behind.”
The statement affirmed that “it is required to secure at least 70 million US dollars to pay teachers’ salaries during the 2020-2021 school year.”