Sepik teachers allege neglect

National, Normal

TEACHERS in East Sepik are crying foul over the widespread unauthorised appointments of teachers and claimed that the provincial education board (PEB) was doing nothing about it.
Papua New Guinea Teachers Association national vice-president Kila Avei, in revealing this to The National yesterday, said her recent visit to the province early this month to meet with PNGTA branch executives reported that a good number of teachers there had been neglected by the PEB.
Avei said the PEB was not performing its duty to appoint teachers and efficiently monitor the processing of teachers’ leave entitlements, thus, she called on the administrator to sack the PEB chairman.
She said that instead of this body monitoring and carrying out this important public service task, it did nothing to prevent unauthorised appointment of teachers Avei claimed was done by clerks or “any officer” at the provincial education office.
She said this had violated both the Education and Teaching Service Acts.
There were reports that some teachers had not received proper appointments since the beginning of the year and this had been the case in the province in the past few years.
In some instances, teachers who had tenure  teaching positions at a school did not complete their terms of five to 10 years and reported others had been stripped off their teaching positions.
Avei said teachers, who were PNGTA members who met in Wewak, said many of their counterparts who were teaching in the very remote areas were the ones worse off after they claimed there had been loss of positions.
In addition, teachers raised concerns over the ongoing delay in the processing of teacher leave fare entitlements by the provincial education office which had taken its toll in the past few years.
“PNGTA has more than 1,000 contributing members, which is more than half the teachers in the province which is why this is a big concern for the association,” Avei said.
She said that the provincial administrator(Simon Torovi) was aware of the matter  and PNGTA’s request to sack the PEB chairman (Pius Mungkaje)  who   is  also the provincial education adviser.
 She said that from what teachers in East Sepik were reporting, anyone could become a teacher as the appointment process was grossly flawed and even carried out  “on the streets”.
Attempts to talk to Mungkaje and Torovi yesterday afternoon were unsuccessful.