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Criticism mounts in Iraqi Kurdistan over unpaid teacher salaries

Teachers say the Kurdish government is not paying on time and want their salaries to come from Baghdad, but Kurdish authorities point to a budget dispute with the federal government.
An Iraqi Kurdish music teacher gives a music lesson at a summer school in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on June 17, 2014. The Kurdish region has been receiving displaced Iraqis fleeing nearby areas in northern Iraq taken over by militants, lead by jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in a swift offensive in which they have said they intend to advance on Baghdad. AFP PHOTO/SAFIN HAMED        (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP via Getty

Ferhat is an English teacher at a public school in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region. His salary comes from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), but five months into 2020 he has only been paid his monthly salary twice. Payment problems over the years forced him and other teachers to take on second jobs.

“It’s very difficult for us,” Ferhat told Al-Monitor. “Each one of us has to work after school to live.”

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