Boycott looms as students miss out

Main Stories, National

The National –Wednesday, January 5, 2011

 ABOUT 200 teachers in Madang will not resume duties on Jan 31 if they do not receive their leave fares this week.

The frustrated teachers yesterday gathered at the provincial education office seeking answers over the delay in their leave fares.

While in Chimbu, more than 120 Grade 10 students who have performed well would miss out on continuing to Grade 11 due to space shortage at the four secondary high schools.

Each school could only take in 40 students. 

Provincial education adviser Essy Wal Kaima confirmed that the students did perform well in their examinations last year, but there were not enough Gr 11 spaces available.

He said another 20 students from Chimbu had been selected to do Gr 11 at the various national high schools in the country.

Meanwhile, the number of students entering universities and colleges this year had increased with 208 of them (out of 4,398) securing academic excellence scholarships.

Office of Higher Education (OHE) student support and scholarship branch director Joseph Morimai yesterday said 3,389 students nationwide had also made it into the higher education contribution assistance scheme (Hecas).

The remaining 801 students would be self-sponsored.

Morimai said out of the total number of students selected this year, 1,887 of them were females.

The OHE car park at Waigani, NCD, had been busy since Tuesday when the students’ lists went up for public viewing. 

PNG Teachers Association (PNGTA) Momase region president Moses Gabougi said the teachers in Madang had been waiting since Dec 10 last year to return home for holidays.

“With only two weeks remaining before teachers resume duties, this group is still waiting for their leave fares. 

“Madang teachers have been facing this problem for the last 10 years. 

“If our other Momase provinces like Morobe and the Sepiks are doing okay, why is Madang still facing late leave fares problem?”

Gabougi said PNGTA executives would meet with the affected teachers at 10am today at the Holy Spirit open cathedral to address the issue.

However, provincial education adviser Moses Sariki said their request for an additional K600,000 was still being processed by the departments of Finance and Treasury and Planning and Monitoring in Port Moresby.

“There are 402 teachers entitled for leave fares. 

“The department has paid K841,000 to nearly half of them and we need another K600,000 to pay the rest; its just that the system is slow,” Sariki added.

“I guarantee that the teachers will receive their leave fares, even if it comes late; it is their entitlements.”