5 October, 2020 – This World Teachers’ Day, celebrated under the theme, “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”, the Global Partnership for Education, Education Cannot Wait, UNESCO and UNICEF are calling for the resumption of salary payments for around half of the Yemeni teachers and school-based staff (estimated 160,000) who have not received regular salary payments since 2016. With suspended salary payments and schools regularly coming under attack, many teachers have been forced to find alternative sources of income to provide for their families.
The dire situation in Yemen, including ongoing conflict, natural disasters (flooding), wide-spread diseases (cholera, measles, polio), and poverty has pushed over two million children out of school and put at risk 5.8 million children who have been enrolled in school prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers and school-based staff are critical to ensure continuation of education services and learning for every child in Yemen. Further delay in paying teachers will likely lead to the total collapse of the education sector and impact millions of Yemeni children, especially the most vulnerable and girls, putting them at risk of engaging in negative coping mechanisms such as child labor, recruitment into armed groups and forces, child marriage, trafficking and other forms of exploitation and abuse.
The global community must unite to end violence against children in Yemen and protect their health and right to education. Without a collective commitment to action, we will fail to meet the 2030 Agenda – Leaving no child and no teacher behind. A minimum of 70 million USD is needed to help address this gap and ensure teachers can receive a payment during the 2020-21 school year.
Education Cannot Wait, the Global Partnership for Education, UNESCO and UNICEF are committed to continuing our support for equitable, inclusive quality education for all Yemeni children. We join our voices to call on the international community and the authorities in Yemen to resume the payment of salaries to teachers in all parts of the country.
Above all, the parties to the conflict in Yemen should work towards peace to allow for recovery and a return to normalcy especially for the children who have suffered the tragic consequences of a conflict not of their making.
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