Written by Abraham Morris-231886294820- firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, 22 January 2013 01:50
Over six hundred public school Teachers who claimed to be graduates of various rural teachers training institutes currently assigned in rural areas teaching in public schools yesterday laid down chalks, stormed and held hostage employees and some UNICEF diplomats at the Sinkor 19th Street offices of the Ministry of Education.
The aggrieved teachers took the action in demand of salaries alleging that the Minister of Education, EtmoniaTarpeh said she cares less about their plights, ‘because her kids are not in rural schools’.
The teachers noted that Minister Tarpeh gave them the go ahead to lay their chalks down.
However, Minister Tarpeh has denied the allegation.
According to the spokesperson of the aggrieved teachers, Peter Dolo, since the took assignments in June 2012 up to presence, the government has not paid them.
Mr. Dolo said when they engaged Senior Management Team (SMT) on November 15, 2012 through the Deputy Ministers for Instructions and Administration, MatorKparngba and Henrique Wilson as to why they haven’t received their salaries since taking assignments, none of the ministry’s officials provided reason to their plights.
He further alleged that their names were left out of the personnel listing sent by the County Education Officers (CEOs) from the various counties and when they met with MOE authorities they were instructed to get back to their various CEOs to send the names of those teachers that were left out of the personnel listing to Deputy Minister for Instruction Kparngba.
According to him, the action was done by the various CEOs but since then, there has not been any action taken to address payment of their salaries.
“We are tired with this; we can’t be working without pay and those in charge who are supposed to give us redress cannot be seen,” Mr. Dolo noted.
He further disclosed that the government owes them more than eight months in the tune of L$43,200, 000 as per their monthly L$9,000 salaries promised them as “C” Certificate holders in teacher training by the ministry.
Mr. Dolo said they were going to remain camped at the ministry’s 19th Street offices until their problems were resolved.
When contacted via mobile phone for comments on the allegations, Minister Tarpeh said “They (teachers) are stupid, how can they say that I don’t care about rural schools when I’m all around lobbying for money to build schools in the rural areas.”
According to her, while on her way for a meeting at the Capitol Building, she met those teachers standing outside not even knowing that they were teachers so she got down from her vehicle to inquire and was informed by them that they are recent graduates of the various RTTI’s but have not taken pay for months.
She said she then informed the aggrieved teachers that she was going to call the Deputy Minister for Administration to get the full detail of the complaint because according to her, all arrears’ owed by the ministry to teachers were clear last year.
“It was at that point they said I was not taking a step out of the compound until their problems are resolved and I told them if they don’t get out of my way, I was going to hit somebody with my car and they allowed me to leave for my meeting; only to return and hear that they locked the main gates until the police intervened,” Minister Tarpeh explained.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister for Administration Wilson said issues raised by the aggrieved teachers were the fault of the ministry which he said has internal conflict regarding the personnel listing which he promised will be resolved shortly.
He further stated that the ministry has instructed the teachers not to return to class until their letters of assignments are reissued and names placed on payroll.