The National, Monday October 21st, 2013
By GABRIEL LAHOC
THE Papua New Guinea Teachers’ Association branch in Morobe has condemned the Teaching Service Commission’s statement on teacher absenteeism.
Branch president Mark Nanu said while it was true that teacher absenteeism existed, the commission as the employing authority should find out the contributing factors before lashing out at teachers in the media.
He was responding to a report in The National last Monday where commission chairman Baran Sori, called on head teachers and school inspectors to report teacher absenteeism to provincial education authorities.
Morobe education advisor Murika Bihoro said teacher absenteeism was a big problem and blamed it on the administration system.
He suggested the decentralisation of functions to the provinces so the provincial programme advisors such as him could deal directly with teachers more effectively.
“The whole system is becoming cumbersome. These functions should be decentralised to provinces so they can effectively take action,” Bihoro said.
Bihoro said an estimated 30 teachers were penalised yearly by being suspended from the payroll.
Nanu said the TSC should find out the real reasons of the absenteeism because teachers were only human beings who could be affected by personal and family problems.
“The kind of comment the commission puts out is a knee-jerk reaction without first telling us what the real problems are and what the commission has found out and if there were problems the TSC can solve,” he said.
“Not all teachers are bad apples. The is the employer of 57,000 teachers in the country, which is the biggest workforce.”