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Teachers in Burundi Struggle: A Deep Dive into Issues of Low Pay, Working Conditions, and Global Migration

The head of the teachers’ union at the University of Burundi, Dezire Nisubire, who is also a teacher at the university, stated in an interview with Voice of America that many teachers in the country seek employment opportunities in other countries due to unfavorable working conditions and low salaries.

According to Dezire, some teachers are left without jobs, and others actively choose to work abroad, including in neighboring countries and beyond.

He mentioned, “There are places where you find no teachers at all; some teachers prefer seeking opportunities in other countries rather than practicing their profession here. When a teacher can’t make ends meet, they resort to doing other things, and their dedication to teaching diminishes.”

Dezire, the leader of this teachers’ union, further explained that despite an increase in teaching hours, the salaries of teachers are not proportionally raised.

He emphasized that there are instances where the working hours of teachers are extended without a corresponding increase in their salaries, making it challenging for them to meet their basic needs.

He stated, “There are situations where you see an extension of teachers’ working hours, but the salaries don’t follow suit. A teacher may start the day at the university and end up taking a second job to sustain themselves.

Those extra hours are not recognized, and there is a prolonged lack of recognition for those working hours.”

Dezire expressed concern about the lack of motivation for teachers, leading some to consider opportunities abroad.

He highlighted that the situation is affecting not only the quality of education in the country but also the overall well-being and morale of the teaching profession.