20 July 2012

Liberia: Chaos At Education

Pandemonium erupted yesterday between aggrieved science teachers and security personnel guarding the entrance of the Education Ministry when they tried to prevent the teachers from entering the building.

Some aggrieved teachers told this paper that the chaos broke out following a statement by Deputy Education for Instruction, Dr. Martor Kpangbai that the Ministry does not owe the teachers.

Witnesses said the teachers got infuriated and began banging on the entrance gate in an attempt to enter the building to demand their salaries.

But Assistant Minister for Administration, Mr. Wilson Gaye calmed the situation by saying he would authenticate their claims and reconcile payment.

He said authorities at the Ministry of Education would shortly meet to begin the reconciliatory process.

The teachers were recruited on a "Special Motivational Stipend (SMP) to teach Mathematics and science courses across the country for promised attractive pay and incentives, but they complain suffering the contrary.

"Madam Minister, it is in deed unfortunate that the present authority of the Ministry of Education is not regular concerning the payment of this special motivational stipend for science teachers assigned in the rural areas," the aggrieved teachers complained in a letter to Education Minister Etmonia David Tarpeh.

"It is also disappointing that the nature and purpose of this special allowance payment is now contrary to the initial understanding," they said in the letter dated 16 July 2012.

It expressed dismay over the undue delay by the Education Ministry to process the employment forms of some science teachers since two years ago.

Therefore, the teachers are asking the Education Ministry to "pay all arrears in allowances due some science teachers in rural areas ranging April to June 2011, November to December 2011, January to June 2012.

They also want government lodging provided for all science teachers in rural areas, and reactive inclusion for all science teachers on the allowance list without precondition.

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