File - Teachers protest in front of the Education Ministry in Beirut, Monday, June 9, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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This pressing issue was never taken seriously by the cabinets, although some ministers realize that the number of government employees, public school teachers and military personnel are one of the causes of the huge budget deficit.There are no accurate figures on the number of civil servants, public school teachers, military and security personnel and contractual workers on the government payroll. But the Finance Ministry estimates the number of full-time government employees, which includes public school teachers and military personnel, at 185,000 . At the same time, economists say that there are at least 10,000 redundant public school teachers and many of the contractual workers are not really needed.Hamdan said there are 25,000 public school teachers and 25,000 contractual teachers.Hamdan and other economists insist that 10,000 public school teachers are redundant, advising the government to lay them off after paying them their compensations.Future MP Ghazi Youssef said many contractual employees were brought by politicians in the hope that in the future they will become full-time government employees with full medical and social benefits.According to Youssef, the cost of yearly salaries for all the public school teachers and contractual teachers is more than $1.3 billion a year.
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