KARA-SUU -- Teachers in mixed Kyrgyz-Uzbek marriages are to receive cash payments in a bid to keep them from leaving a district in southern Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.
The decision was taken by local authorities in the Kara-Suu district of southern Osh region, one of the worst hit by deadly ethnic violence last year.
Authorities are to pay young mixed Kyrgyz-Uzbek couples where one spouse is a secondary-school teacher the equivalent of $2,000 -- more than 30 times a
teacher's average monthly salary.
Kara-Suu district governor Baiysh Jusupov told RFE/RL that the local government made that decision at a special gathering of young teachers in Kara-Suu earlier this week.
The one-off cash payments are part of a drive to motivate young teachers not to leave their native district. Teachers married to a spouse from the same ethnic group will receive $400.
Jusupov said that the decision was made in order to keep young professional teachers in the region and to "strengthen inter-ethnic concord in the district."
More than 300 teachers are currently employed at secondary schools in Kara-Suu district. Their average monthly salary is about $65.
It's not clear how many teachers will be eligible for the higher payment.
Kara-Suu is the only district in the south to introduce such cash payments.
In mid-June last year, violent clashes between local Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in Kyrgyzstan's southern Osh and Jalal-Abad region killed more than 400 people. Read more in Kyrgyz here