By Abeer Abbas
JAZAN — Many female teachers work at schools in cities and villages far away from their homes. They have to travel through rugged mountainous roads daily to reach their schools. Many faced fatal accidents.
They have seen some of their colleagues dying in front of them in road crashes.
Some women teachers in the east of Jazan begin their journey at 3 a.m. and return from school at 5 p.m.
Many of these teachers agreed to work in remote places, braving death, just to earn a living.
Many female teachers travel through Bani Malik mountains as well as Wadi Al-Dafa, Sula, Abadil and Fifa mountains.
“I start my journey to school at 3 a.m. with my colleagues. We have to travel 145 km to reach the school. I will see my children before leaving home as I am not sure whether I would come back or not,” Um Ahmed told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.
She said her colleagues also had the same feelings. “One of them had escaped virtual death in a road accident. She saw a colleague breathe her last in that incident. She cannot forget that horrible accident, which has badly affected her psyche.”
Um Ahmed said the teachers had requested the education department in Jazan to provide them with a four-wheel-drive vehicle and two good drivers to avoid repetition of such fatal accidents.
Nusrin Mohammed, mother of two, said she got the job after waiting seven years. “My suffering begins at 3 a.m. and does not end till Maghreb. We have contracted a driver to take us to school and every one of us pays SR1,000 monthly to the driver. We face a lot of problems while traveling through rugged mountains, especially in the rainy season.”
Mohammed urged authorities to accept her request for transfer.
Ebtihal Al-Ghamdi from Jeddah was appointed as teacher at Al-Sharief school in Jazan.
She goes to school every day leaving her two small children with relatives. She has rented a flat in Jazan for SR4,500. She has to pay SR1,600 to drivers of two vehicles. She returns to Jeddah in the weekend to stay with her family.
Um Aryam has a similar story to tell. She travels from Tiwal to Sula mountains to reach her school, crossing 180 km daily. “We have to sit in the car three hours for going to school and three hours for returning home. She leaves her small children with their grandmother at 3 a.m. to return just before Maghreb,” she added.
Hanadi has a different story. The long journey affected her married life and it ended up in divorce. She was unable to look after her children as she used to return at Maghreb and she will be tired after long journey. She sleeps early to get up at 3 a.m. and leave for school.
Khaled Allaqi, husband of a teacher, said his wife has been suffering from high blood pressure and headache due to her tedious job and the difficult journey through the mountainous road.
“She leaves for school at 3 a.m., arrives at school at 6.30 a.m. and returns home at 5 p.m. This tedious journey has affected her health and she is now thinking of resigning from the job.”