UGF

High school teacher, Syrdarya region, May 2017

“Directors of schools decide who should go to the fields to dig up the roots of cotton plants and when. Teachers go because they are ordered to. In turn, directors receive orders from the head of the education directorate. The director of our school held a meeting at the end of April and announced that the cotton cultivation campaign had started and read out the list of teachers who would join the campaign first.

Some of the teachers cannot go to the fields due to their family circumstances or because of health issues or other reasons. Some of them have babies or perhaps they are pregnant. Under such circumstances they have to give the director 15,000 Som a day. The main burden falls on the shoulders of other staff because we have to work for those who had bribed the director as well. The process of rotation is very quick. Nobody dares express his dissatisfaction because it will be difficult for the teacher if he speaks his mind.”