By ELIAS LARI
A TOTAL of 1,286 teachers in Western Highlands have not been given teaching positions this year because of the lack of advanced planning in teacher postings, the Papua New Guinea Teachers Association (PNGTA) says.
PNGTA Western Highlands branch president John Yaga said teacher postings had become an ongoing issue in the province because the provincial education board (PEB) had failed to follow the process of appointing teachers on merit. Yaga said of the unplaced teachers, 73 were from high and secondary schools, 17 from the technical and vocational education training (Tvet) centres, 116 were from primary schools while 1,080 were from the elementary schools.
He said the reason for this was simply a lack of advanced planning.
He said the PEB needed to prioritise appointments based on merit and qualification.
Yaga believed politics and bribery may have contributed to the chaos in the postings. “This year, we were expecting improvements, however, we keep facing the same problem,” he said. “The PEB should become an independent body when making selections.”
Yaga said under Section 24 of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Act, serving officers (teachers) had to be given priority.
He said the Act was breached when serving teachers were not given priority and left out.
“This is a threat to our future because people are playing up with the education system,” he said.
He added that Section 37 of the Act explained that appointment officers had to be fair and transparent when making appointments.
“I believe transparency and fairness were overlooked.”
Yaga said the PEB should provide all the requirements to make sure this year’s posting were fair.
He said this province would lose experienced teachers if this problem continued.
Attempts made by The National to get a response from provincial education adviser Martin Marr were unsuccessful.
By ELIAS LARI