GBARNGA: Normal academic activities were on Monday, October 8, stalled at several Public Schools in Bong County as the result of a go-slow action by supplementary teachers of the County.
Report by Joseph Doloyuwah_www.email@example.com
The supplementary teachers are demanding their placement on regular government’s payroll and improved working conditions.
In an interview with newsmen Monday at the start of the go-slow in Gbarnga, the secretary general of the group, Josiah Kollie said all supplementary teachers across the County have been instructed to stay out of the class room until their plights are addressed.
Josiah Kollie lamented that members of the group have cried for too long with no action from requisite authorities to address their concerns, stating that the go-slow would set the pace for redress.
“Our go-slow action started this morning and were encouraged all supplementary teachers of Bong County to stay out of the class room until the ministry of Education can settle out salary issue. This process has taken long time and we are not getting or seeing means of improvement on the part of the ministry; so, we have decided to take some actions that will draw their attention.
This process will not stop until he Ministry or this government can see into it that our wages are increase,” Kollie said.
He averred that their action will continue pending remedy from the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Education.
Meanwhile, the County Education Officer of Bong, Armah Varfee is appealing to the aggrieved teachers to disembark their actions as his office negotiates with the Ministry of Education to address their plights.
Mr. Varfee assured the supplementary teachers that government is doing everything humanly possible to ease the tension, though he was not exact as to when it will be done.
“As soon as we receive this information this morning, i immediately call the secretary of the aggrieved teachers for us to sit and discuss because, it is very important to have these teachers in the class room.
I have already communicated to heads of the ministry in Monrovia and I can assured the teachers that their concern will be addressed shortly.
All we asking is for the aggrieved supplementary teachers go back in the class room for the betterment of the students while the ministry find amicable solutions to their current problem.”
Students of the affected Schools have at the same time expressed remorse over the situation and are calling on government to quickly intervene as they gear up for their first period tests.
The president of the government run John Flomo Bakalu Semi Senior High School Meinepaylay Sackie said the teacher’s action constrained them to have left their respective campuses before normal school time due to the absence of teachers.
“Most of us went home sonner today beause there were no teachers on campus or in our classes.”
Meanwhile, The president of the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL), Mary Mulbah Nyumah, says getting the names of supplementary teachers on the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) regular payroll is crucial and needs government’s urgent attention to address the issue.
She said majority of the teachers across the counties have their names still on supplementary payroll and are yet to be placed on the Ministry of Education’s regular payroll.
Mrs. Nyumah said this situation was creating problems for them and, as a result, majority of them have been underpaid; they fear that their names could be dropped any time by the MoE.
She believes that if these teachers are placed on the Ministry of Education’s regular payroll, they will be motivated to render more services in molding the minds of the young people.
According to her, some of these teachers have been on the supplementary payroll for the past four to five years, because much attention has not been given to make sure that their status is regularized on the Ministry of Education’s regular payroll.
She said if the goal of the government’s pro-poor agenda must be achieved, especially in the educational sector, the issue of supplementary teachers should be a priority.
Mrs. Nyumah made the call over the weekend in Kakata, Margibi County, at programs marking the observance of World Teachers Day, organized by the Margibi County branch of the NTAL.