PDF- PublicationsStudiesThe strategic risks of the salary cut crisis on education in Yemen

21 October، 2021by Muneer Al-Sabahi

Field research involving 336 educators and academics in eight governorates

Mounir Al-Sabahi



Research Summary:

For nearly six years, education-sector government employees in Yemen in the Houthi-controlled governorates have suffered from interruptions in salaries and the suspension of operating expenses for educational institutions, which has caused severe damage to government schools and universities. Performance levels have decreased, and the dropout rates of children, adolescents, and youth have increased, threatening to undermine the various minor gains that were made before the beginning of the crisis in terms of the quality of education, improving school enrollment rates, achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and supporting the path of sustainable development. The low salaries and incentives for workers in the education sector, as well as conflict-related interruptions, have had a profound impact on education. Through our analysis, it was found that the almost complete interruption of the payment of salaries led to high rates of labor absenteeism, low performance, dropouts to other jobs, the spread of the phenomenon of private tutoring, the exacerbation of the problem of gender discrimination in student enrollment, and a decline in the share of teachers in some regions, in terms of quantity and quality. More widely, there is a tendency to refrain from joining the teaching profession, which is no longer generating income.

The risks arising from the interruption of the salaries of workers in the education sectors appear more severe in light of the presence of other serious problems that have accompanied this crisis, resulting in diminishing opportunities for access to quality education. This research provides a picture of the status of education across the different levels, from basic up to university education in the Yemeni governorates studied. It furthermore analyzes the implications of the crisis, which has prevented a large segment of students from obtaining free education opportunities and ultimately led to the deprivation of education for the children of poor families. Therefore, it has had various repercussions for Yemeni development and peace-building opportunities in the medium and long term.

This research sought to understand the most prominent risks of the crisis of employee salaries for the future of public and higher education in Yemen, from the point of view of educational staff (teachers and principals of public schools) and academics (professors at public universities) currently working in the field.

To achieve this, it draws on a descriptive research methodology and a survey of experts’ opinions using a questionnaire and based on an extensive review of existing academic literature concerning Yemen specifically and the risks of employee salary interruption to the education system as a whole. Descriptive and inferential statistical methods were used to analyze the answers of the research sample.

The questionnaire was designed by the researcher, taking questions used by some of the previous relevant scientific literature, in addition to some additional suggestions agreed upon by the expert arbitrators. It was tested on an exploratory sample to measure its internal validity and stability using appropriate statistical tests and coefficients; It was found that all items are significantly related to the tool with a confidence percentage of 99% according to Pearson’s coefficient. The questionnaire consisted of 29 items, each paragraph represents one of the expected risks that could negatively affect education, and requires answering on a three-point scale (3/yes, 2/maybe, 1/no; see Appendix).

A random quota sample was selected from each governorate consisting of 42 male and 42 female employees, including 30 educators, 20 teachers and 10 school principals from rural and urban areas, and the rest of the share numbering 12 academics, 6 from humanities colleges and 6 from applied colleges. The representation rates for all governorates are equal, as each governorate represented 12.5% ​​of the total sample. The questionnaire was designed using the Google Drive tool.


For the full study press here in Arabic.

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Muneer Al-Sabahi

Munir Muhammad Al-Sabahi is a researcher at the Arabia Felix Center for Studies. His research focuses on education in light of conflict. He is a researcher at the Center for Rehabilitation and Educational Development at Dhamar University, and a professor at the College of Education. He obtained a master’s degree in educational administration and planning, from Dhamar University in 2014, and is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the Faculty of Education, Taiz University, and is writing a thesis project in the field of “Philosophy and Management of Scientific Research”.

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