Director of the Agency for Supervision in the Field of Education and Science under the President of Tajikistan, Shohin Saidzoda, who is the son of the head of the Committee for TV and Radio-broadcasting Nourddin Said, has denied reports about exodus of teachers from the country as absolutely unfounded. 

He claims that during the years of the coronavirus pandemic, many teachers who worked in other countries “were unable to get out and took extra hours at schools. 

“Borders reopened in 2021, and the same contingent returned to their previous places of work.  Therefore, it seems to many that teachers suddenly began to leave schools and began to leave for labor migration.  But it's not like that at all,” Saidzoda told reporters in Dushanbe on February 14.  

According to him, 16,000 students graduated from universities in pedagogical specialties last year, and “more than 8,600 of them were sent to work in schools.” 

He further added that 160,785 teachers now work with schools in Tajikistan and the current number of school students is 2,696,727.  

It is to be noted, Tajikistan ranks last among the former Soviet republics in terms of teacher salaries and tops them in terms of teaching load.  

Current average teacher/pupil ratio in Tajikistan is 1:16.5, while in city schools this ratio is 1:20.  

Meanwhile, the teacher/pupil rate is 1:8 in Russia, 1:13 in Uzbekistan and 1:15 in Kyrgyzstan.  

Recall, the Ministry of Education and Science said this month that there has been a shortage of 1,124 qualified teachers, despite some 16,000 people graduating from teachers training universities annually.  It comes as the Khatlon top educational official, Ashourali Olimi, said on January 31 that 1,900 teachers in the province quit their jobs last year.  .

Meanwhile, the deputy head of the Khatlon education directorate, Saifullo Lutfulloyev, noted on January 31 that 2,067 teachers left the province last year seeking better employment opportunities.

Commenting on the current situation in the province’s education sector, Ashourali Olimi pointed teachers’ difficult financial position as the cause for quitting their jobs.

“Some of teachers have three of four children each.  They cannot feed their families on a teacher's salary, and therefore, they are forced to go abroad seeking better employment opportunities,” Olimi noted.   

He further noted that 1,957 young teachers were hired last year.   “But young teachers will not be able to replace skilled teachers,” the Khatlon top educational official added.

The Tajik educational officials have acknowledged that the situation was becoming critical across the country.

Many teachers in Tajikistan reportedly quit over the summer to search for work in Russia, and Tajik schools are currently experiencing an acute shortage of teachers.

Teachers’ salaries were always horribly low in Tajikistan but living costs have soared since the pandemic began.

Tajik teachers leaving for Russia seeking better employment opportunities mainly work as street cleaners or delivery workers.