Teacher pay have only increased by 30% in the last six years, according to Teacher’s Day.
Teachers’ status in Albania has deteriorated over time. Although there are more messages of congratulations, flowers, and presents on Teacher’s Day, salaries and social status remain low.
Once an admired and in-demand profession, it now appears to be abandoned by young people due to a large decrease in the number of students enrolling in teacher training programs, to the point where their closure is even threatened.
Former Deputy Minister of Education Nora Malaj told A2 CNN that the government’s lack of attention, which has not invested enough in education, is the root of the problem.
“Poor earnings are seen as a crucial factor in the fact that teachers are leaving the country, even though the government has increased the salary improvements in recent years,” Malaj said.
According to Malaj, these increases have always been insufficient, particularly in light of rising prices and the country’s current economic crisis. She suggests not only higher pay, but also greater social recognition, by elevating the standing of teachers.
“Based on government choices from 2017 to 2022, teacher salaries are expected to rise by 30% on average. In 2017, a lower-cycle teacher in a 9-year school was paid 36,850 lek, but currently they are paid around 48,000 lek. A high-cycle primary school teacher now earns 51,200 lek per year, up from 39,000 lek six years ago. Meanwhile, the starting compensation for a high school teacher is roughly 55,000 lek, up from 42,350 lek in 2017.”
A new teacher is paid nearly one-third less than the average monthly pay of a public administration employee, who earns around 72,000 lek.