Libya holds salaries of thousands of teachers without documents

Photo: Esam Omran Al-Fetori, Reuters

The ministry reported that Libya’s government has stopped the salaries of over 150,000 teachers including other staff in the education department because of documentary issues.

The country of Libya suffered corruption anomalies in which ghost workers are included in the payroll after ousting Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The education ministry stated that the alleged ghost workers receive salaries without any proof that they work in government offices.

More than the 150,000 teachers, 800 education administrative staff will also be investigated for being absent from work without permission, the ministry said.

A researcher, Emad Badi, said Libya has acquired at least half a million teachers for a country of 6 million people, which was not sustainable “to say the least.”

Moreover, this figure does not include teachers hired by an eastern parallel government opposing the Tripoli administration.

The move triggered hundreds of teachers to protest in the capital and other cities to dismiss the Tripoli-based education minister Othman Abduljaleel Mohamed.

“All the minister’s decisions are random. He does not speak about our problems,” said a high-school teacher from the western city of Zliten who was protesting.

“There are no curriculums and books available yet, schools are in bad condition and our salaries are always delayed,” he said, asking not to be named. “And now the minister stops salaries of thousands but we’re here until he’s ousted.”

Public salaries amounts to more than half of public spending, which rely on oil and gas revenues, the country’s main economic source.