Oro approves K1.5mil to pay teachers’ outstanding leave fares

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THE Oro Provincial Executive Council (PEC) has approved a total of K1.5 million to pay teachers’ outstanding leave fares and other claims.
Northern Governor Gary Juffa made the announcement last week following a PEC meeting.
“Teachers are a vital part of development and it is indeed a disgrace that teachers were terribly neglected by the O’Neill government,” Juffa said.
Juffa also called on the Marape Government to pay attention to the plight of teachers nationwide and invest in their welfare.
“Our people will still be here long after the gold, oil, gas and other non-renewable resources are depleted.”
From the payment of K1,525,453.96 sanctioned by the PEC, teachers’ outstanding leave fares would account for K1,364,452.95 while the balance of K161,001 would be used to pay deceased teachers claims.
In making the announcement to the Teachers’ Leave Fares Committee sector chairman for Education and Finance Herbert Isemba said the PEC had directed that all outstanding leave fares be paid by end of this month and the current teachers’ leave fares for 2019 had to be paid out by November.
The PEC decision follows a commitment to Oro teachers at a gathering at the Oro Provincial Assembly area last year by Juffa.
Isemba said the payments from the K1,364,452 as teachers outstanding leave entitlements would be paid with scrutiny to the dependents listing.
He said dependents claimed by individual teachers had to be of the legal age classified as dependents.
“The Oro provincial government notes that some teachers were claiming dependents over the required dependent age bracket,” Isemba said.
He gave an example in 2018 where a teacher travelling out of Oro claimed leave fares for five adult dependents with ages ranging from 24 to 34 years old.
The PEC also directed all payments for the 2019 teachers’ leave fares and the subsequent years be paid based on the following criteria:
lThat National Identification Documents (NID) cards and birth certificates be used to pay all leave fare entitlements;
lThat the dependents listing for all teachers serving in Oro province under the National Education system be scrutinised by the division of education; and
lAny teacher found attempting to fraudulently claim dependents for leave fare entitlements be referred to the police for prosecution.

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