Stranded teachers claim corruption

National, Normal


TEACHERS believe corrupt practices and improper conduct has led to many of them not being able to secure leave fares to travel home for the Christmas holidays.
Many teachers teaching in Central province are stranded in Port Moresby and cannot fly home.
They fronted up at the Central provincial education office in Konedobu only to learn that the office had closed for the festive period and would not open until Jan 4.
A notice was put up in front of the education division office of the provincial office yesterday that said all outstanding travel fares dating from 2003- 09 would be addressed later.
Primary school teacher, Adrian Siperi, who arrived in Port Moresby by paying his own travel fees of K304 from Woitape in the Goilala district, told The National that teachers had no choice but to wait for the Central provincial education adviser Titus Romano Hatagen to return from his recreational leave.
“It has been an ongoing problem for us teachers and we do not really know where the problem lies but what we do know is that there are corrupt practices and as a result we are suffering,” he said.
“We are all in the dark, but hopefully, Mr Hatagen will come out clear on our outstanding leave fares on Jan 4 as promised,” he said.
He also questioned the provincial administrator’s remarks relating to the 17% service charge on their travel fares charged by a travel agent.
The provincial administrator had said it was the teachers who chose the travel agent.
But Mr Siperi said: “We the teachers do not decide our travel bookings; that part has been delegated to the Central provincial administration officials and how they have found the new travel agent we do not know.
“We do not know what motives they have behind this but most of the teachers prefer travelling on Air Niugini which would have been proper,” he said.