“You have to teach 8 different subjects while other teachers were away picking cotton”

This story is about a woman working as a college teacher. She was also mobilized for the second term of cotton picking. She left for the cotton fields on September 19. But before that, she had tried to refuse to pick cotton this year as she had picked cotton for 30 days last year. She was told that she could stay away from the cotton harvest this year, but that she must take up classes in 8 extra subjects. In other words, she was told she had to teach 8 different subjects while other teachers were away picking cotton. She describes it as a complete nonsense.


8 extra classes in 8 different subjects. For instance, classes such as history, pedagogy and mathematics are completely different from what I normally teach. How can I teach them properly? The school principal told me that I can teach whatever I want, as long as the classes take place. My next question was about giving grades to students and keeping the teacher’s record book. How can I grade students if I do not know the subject and how can I keep the teacher’s record book? The school principal told me that I do not need to put anything into the record book. He let me know that it will be revised and completed when teachers come back from the cotton harvest.  . I had no choice. Teaching 8 subjects that I am not specializing in is too much of responsibility for me. I decided to pick cotton rather. Well, now I am at the cotton harvest.


Note: Every public institution in Uzbekistan applies its own policy on salary issues. While some public employees receive their salaries regardless of mobilization to the cotton harvest, others may have their salary cut by half due to the mobilization to cotton fields.


Interviews conducted in Andijan.

Data accessed 04.10.2016.