WE refer to the recent advertisement “Teachers for Nauru 2010” published in The National recently.
For the benefit of PNG teachers wishing to apply, we would like to share our experience which may assist you in making a decision.
Last year, six of us from PNG were recruited to teach various subjects in Nauru’s only upper secondary school and two lower primary schools.
Having sighted and agreeing to our draft employment contract which was sent to us electronically, we arrived in Nauru which is no larger than Gerehu in Port Moresby.
On the first working day, when we went to the chief secretary’s office to formally sign our employment contracts, we noticed that they were not the same as the drafts that were sent to us.
It had been altered and downgraded.
The reason given was Nauru was hit by a post-phosphate tsunami and they were on a period of recovery.
It was too late as we were already on the island.
For accommodation, we were accommodated at a government hotel which was to be our home for the next two years or so.
We had to pay for our own meals and laundry although the draft contract said otherwise.
There were no facilities to cook our meals and power was rotated every four hours around the island.
Our monthly salary was never paid on time, sometimes just paid before the next month’s salary is due.
The portion of the salary that was to be remitted to our PNG bank accounts was never remitted on time and you would not know whether it had been remitted unless you have somebody checking on your accounts.
Apart from classroom teaching duties, we were also required to help write the secondary school curriculum (currently there is none), mentor local teachers and engage in considerable other extracurricular activities, most of these non-teaching duties eventuated on weekends.
To them, this was part of our contribution to the rebuilding exercise of Nauru.
At the school grounds, staff room, assembly, school staff meetings, inside the classroom, computer lab, education office, hotel, etc, local Nauru dialect is extensively used.
Trying to teach in English in such an environment was a real nightmare, sometimes you were mocked with reference to your skin colour and your language.
Three of us did not last more than 12 months before returning to PNG and our remaining friends are following suit.
In our opinion, you are better off here.
However, you make the final decision.
Serim experience tasol