A teachers strike demanding higher pay has shut down at least 27 schools in Afghanistan's capital.

Fazel Ahmad Fazel, the newly appointed head of a national teachers' council, said Tuesday that 80 schools were closed in Kabul alone, and that teachers are on strike in at least 18 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.

But Fazel Ahmad Harderi, deputy head of Kabul's Department of Education, says just 27 schools in the capital are closed, down from 55 at the start of the protests last week.

It was not immediately possible to resolve the conflicting accounts. Kabul has a total of 284 schools.

The national Education Ministry has said it is holding daily meetings with teacher representatives to try to resolve the dispute and reopen the schools.