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10 November 2021 - News

Teachers in Yemen take to street work with more than half without regular pay

More than half of Yemen’s teachers and education personnel, or about 190,000 people, have been forced to find second sources of income to feed themselves and their families, including on-street work, as they have not received regular pay since 2016Save the Children said. 

More than 2.2 million children are now out of school in Yemen after seven years of conflict, and about 8 million require education support just to continue basic learning. About 1.7 million children are displaced in the country and cut off from basic services.  

A lack of regular pay, attacks on schools and education, flooding and continued deteriorating economic conditions, with with more than 2.2 million children are now out of school in Yemen, and about 8 million require education support just to continue basic learning.

Hana, a Yemeni teacher, told Save the Children: 

“How is it expected for a teacher to go to class and teach students while thinking about ways to feed their own children? Many of us do not even have money to pay for transportation to school. 

“In addition to the psychosocial impact on teachers, the current financial conditions of teachers have pushed some to go for mediocre and/or on-street works. How do you expect a teacher to have self respect and to be able to stand in class in front of their students after seeing him working on street? How can we be role models to our students?” 

Save the Children Education Advisor, Chiara Moroni, said:  

Teachers and education personnel are naturally critical to the learning process and to ensure children receive the learning they need to fulfil themselves, and the continued disruptions in their pay will have a critical impact on the education process and would expedite its collapse, harming not only millions of children today but also the future of the country.  

Teaching is a mission, and we need to take care of those who are raising the future generation. We all owe what we know today to at least one teacher in our lives who have put us ahead of themselves. 

Without education, girls and boys will be subjected to a whole host of protection risks, at a critical time of their development and progress into adulthood. 

The situation has been aggravated by COVID-19, as the school year ended earlier than planned in both 2020 and 2021, reducing the learning time for nearly 5.8 million students, many of whom are at risk of not returning to school due to the socio-economic impact of COVID-19, especially girls.  

School closures and the worsening economic situation due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021 increased the vulnerability of children and women to multiple protection risks. 

As the needs deepen across the country, chronic underfunding remains a challenge. By October 2021, funding for the Humanitarian Response Plan in Yemen stood at around 50% of the required amount, while only 35% of the funding needed to maintain basic education activities has been received.  

Save the Children calls on parties to the conflict to adhere to international law and protect schools, and other civilian objects, from the conflict.  

Save the Children also calls on the international community to support a cessation of hostilities that allows children to return to education and fully fund the education ask as an investment in the children of Yemen today, and the future of the country.