PEKANBARU, Riau (Jakarta Post): Dozens of teachers in Indragiri Hilir regency in Riau suffered acute depression last year, an official said Thursday.
The regency's administration has yet to pinpoint the exact cause of their mental condition, but assumed it was caused by their poor working environment.
"There were 13 teachers suffering acute depression last year. We will send them to mental hospital for intensive treatment as soon as possible," head of Indragiri Hilir Sport, Youth, and Education Office, Pahrolrozi, said.
He said the mentally ill teachers were temporarily prohibited from teaching. Some of them were employed as full time civil servants and the others worked on a contractual basis.
"We were surprised to find them in that condition. We will send them to receive intensive therapy and hope they will recover soon," Pahrolrozi said.
He said many teachers had suffered other health problems aswell, especially hearth attacks. Three teachers had heart failures and four others died suddenly without showing any symptoms of illness, he said.
Pahrolrozi said he would rotate all teaching positions in the region so as to prevent teachers from becoming bored or stressed.
The administration will also give teachers a pay rise amounting to Rp 1 million (US$110) per month for each teacher.
The allowance increase is aimed to encourage them to teach better, he said, adding that the funds were already approved in the 2008 regional budget. -- JP