Naw Dabora Htoo, education coordinator with the Karen Refugee Committee, said schoolteachers working in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border are long over due a pay rise, but this academic year they will get an increase in their monthly subsidy.
Speaking to Karen News, Naw Dabora said camp teachers have deserved better pay for a long time.
“We would like to increase teachers’ monthly subsidy very much. They give everything they have for the education of children. We wanted to make the increase in the past year, but we didn’t have enough funds to do so.”
Naw Dabora said teachers in the camp are not paid according to the education level they teach. Every teacher gets the same monthly subsidy of 700 baht that started in June this year – an increase of 400 baht from the previous year.
A high school teacher working at Mae La Refugee Camp said teachers are happy with the increase even though the amount is little.
“It is good we got an increase. It may not be a lot of money, but we are happy for the increase as it is recognition of our work.”
Naw Dabora Htoo, the KRC Education Coordinator, said that aside from the increase in monthly subsidy, any teacher who have two years of teaching experience or who have got certificate from completing any teacher’s training course will also get an additional 30 baht a month.
Naw Dabora Htoo, said in previous years education in the camp was supported by International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGO) such as ZOA Refugee Care, World Vision, Taipei Oversea Peace Service and others who worked in education, but this year fewer organizations are supporting education in the camp.
ZOA Refugee Care will continue to support Teacher Training and Director Training related to education.
The seven Karen refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border have 24 high schools, 14 middle schools and 27 primary schools serviced by 1,306 teachers looking after 31,977 pupils.