Afghan teachers strike, schools close over demands for higher pay, improved conditions

Teachers in the Afghan capital are on strike in support of demands for higher pay and improved conditions.

Fazel Ahmad Fazel, the head of Afghanistan's Teachers' Council, said Sunday that schools in the capital Kabul have been closed for a week and that some teachers have held public rallies and sit-ins.

He says the government has yet to respond to their demands.

Teachers in Afghanistan are poorly paid and often do not receive their salaries for months on end because of government cash-flow problems.

Education Ministry spokesman Kabir Haqmal says officials are meeting with teacher representatives daily. He says some of their demands are unreasonable and that they have been asked to return to class while the negotiations proceed.