Science Teachers Demand Compensation
Over 200 teachers, recruited and deployed in 14-counties to teach natural sciences within public schools in rural Liberia are demanding compensation for 11-months.
But Education Ministry spokesman Maxim Bleetan has appealed to the aggrieved teachers to exercise patience as their problem would be looked into. “At the moment, the ministry is meeting with the County and District Education Officers.”
The defiant teachers claimed they were recruited to provide special services to the Education Ministry, particularly the teaching of natural sciences (chemistry, Biology, mathematics and physics) in rural schools in the country.
After 11-months of service, they said they are yet to be paid. “ This is why we are venting our anger by refusing to take-up assignment as academic 2012/2013 begins, until we can be compensated.
In a 2-page and 4-count statement to Education Minister Etmonia Tarpeh dated 16 July, this year, the teachers demanded the payment of all delinquent months in allowances to science teachers, from April to June 2011, November to December 2011 and January to June 2012 to some rural science teachers.
Other demands include the reactivation of the names of all science teachers on the allowance list without precondition, speedy processing of employment forms for all science teacher (PAN) and subsequent payment of government salaries as of the month they took assignment.
They are also demanding the continuation of the rural science program with the monthly payment of the associated US$200.00, along with government salaries and provision of lodging for all rural science teachers.
“We take this time to express our disappointment over the manner in which the authority of the Education Ministry is handing the economic welfare of the recruited science teachers. The science program was initiated purposely to strengthen the teaching of the natural sciences in rural Liberia,” the aggrieved teacher said.
For the purpose of motivation, they continued: “The previous authority of the ministry associated with the government salary the sum of US$200.00 to be paid to each recruited science teacher monthly in addition to the government salary only for rural assigned science teachers.”
“It is indeed unfortunate that the present authority of the Education Ministry is not regular in this direction to under this obligation to science teachers,” the statement said.
Copies of the statement under the signatures of T. William Saa, Chairman and Worwin Nyongbe, Secretary were also sent to House Speaker Alex Tyler and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education.
The teachers’ position further noted: “it is also disappointing that the Ministry of Education is presently giving new version or interpretation to the nature and purpose of this special allowance payment contrary to the initial understanding. In a very strongest term, we reject the current position of the education ministry on this note.”