High school teacher, Syrdarya region, May 2017

September 15, 2017

“In general, teachers are involved in everything. The teachers have taken on all sorts of duties: farming, construction, they visit families and collect money for public utility services, clean the surrounding areas of apartment blocks, do unpaid work – they are a free labor force. Teachers have no reputation in the neighborhoods. Everybody looks at us with pity. Even schoolchildren make fun of us when they see us going to the cotton fields carrying our tools. In reality, the teachers’ place should be in schools and colleges. However, we are becoming more and more associated with field work. We should have held a number of final exams at the end of May. However, our director forced us to go to the fields. It turns out that cotton cultivation is more important than checking the knowledge of schoolchildren and holding state exams!”