Teachers in WHP did not walk off

National, Normal

The National, Monday, May 9, 2011

TEACHERS in Western Highlands have not walked off their jobs in protest at the lack of pay increases, Teachers Rights Movement (TRM) spokesman Joshua Kono said.
Kono said they were following the legal processes and were awaiting a response from education authorities on a petition they gave on March 6 calling for the outcomes-based education system to be refined and reformed.
The petition was received by PNG Teachers Association president, Tommy Hecko and general secretary Ugwalubu Mowana.
The two were in Mt Hagen for the national education board meeting.
It is understood teachers from one or two schools out of town were on strike.
Students attending those schools had not begun normal classes for term two last week.
Kono expressed dissatisfaction over media reports that all teachers in the province had walked off their jobs.
The Hagen Park Secondary School teacher said the majority of teachers had not walked off their jobs because that was illegal.
He said the majority of teachers had put the education of students first.
Kono said all they wanted was a guarantee for real pay increases for teachers.
He said all teachers at Mt Hagen Park Secondary School were TRM members, and others using the name of the school, as well as TRM, was not right.
Kono said TRM was in place to advocate teacher’s rights, debate issues affecting teachers, and negotiate on behalf of them.
“Organising strike action is the last thing teachers will take because there are other legal processes, and TRM is following these,” he said.
Kono said teachers had not seen any pay increases over the past 10 years and with the implementation of OBE, teachers were working under pressure.
He said teachers must be given pay increases and other allowances so they can concentrate on what they were to do.