The Ministry of Education has ordered all June 2012 graduates of the Rural Teachers Training Institutes (RTTIS) assigned at public schools within Montserrado County to stop work effective January 31, 2913.

In a letter dated January 24, 2013, signed by Education Minister Etmonia Tarpeh, and addressed to the County Education Officer of Montserrado, Gorma Mannie, the ministry said: “This is to inform you that all June 2012 graduates from the RTTIS assigned in your various schools and have not been processed and placed on payroll should stop working effective January 31, 2013”.

The letter continued: “The Ministry of Education in January 2013 while undergoing a financial review of all its departments and identifying the needed capacity to deliver on its mandate as a sector, decided to pay all those teachers that have taken their respective assignment from August 2012-January 2013 to enable the ministry process their documents to have them placed on payroll”.

The letter also noted that on January 21, some teachers stormed the Ministry of Education 19th Street office holding diplomats, visitors and employees of the ministry hostage who caused serious embarrassment to the ministry and country as a whole.

 In the communication, Minister Tarpeh indicated that the exercise is intended to allow the ministry documents its teachers to avoid unnecessary demonstration or strike actions from teachers in demand for pay.

At the same time, some teachers have described the minister’s decision as a move geared towards dismissing them after they have been trained and deployed by the ministry.

But, Minister Tarpeh has since denied the teachers’ claim and said the letter address to the CEO was intended to inform teachers who are not on the ministry’s payroll to stay away while  the ministry is processing their documents to have them on payroll.

According to her, teachers affected by the decision names and other necessary documents have been sent to the Ministry of Finance for payment.

However, Education Ministry sources in an interview with the In Profile Daily confirmed the dismissal of 158 public school   teachers and disclosed that the Minister has planned to dismiss the total of 1,500 teachers across the country.

According to the sources, some of the teachers were dismissed due to their involvement in recent peaceful protests in Montserrado and Magibi Counties in demand of salaries and other benefits.