16 November 2012

Liberia: Gov't School Paralyzed in Ganta

Ganta — The NEWS has learnt that one of two public high schools in the commercial district of Ganta, Nimba County, has for the past days been paralyzed by strike action.

Teachers and other support staff of the Child Friendly School erected by United Nations Children Educational Fund (UNICEF) in 2010 are on a go-slow in demand of 17 months arrears owed them by government.

Our correspondent in the county said the school has been shut down by the aggrieved teachers until their demands are met.

He said the school's gate remains closed for about a week now thereby denying students access to the campus.

A spokesperson of the aggrieved teachers, Mr. Charles Cooper said government is indebted to them for 17 months and threatened that they will not return to classes unless their arrears are paid.

He disclosed that their action is intended to claim government's attention.

Our correspondent said the school has been rocked by series of strike actions since it opened in 2010.

The Principal of the school, Mr. Oswer Gbengan confirmed the teacher's action and stated that the strike action started since the beginning of the school year. The Principal said the go-slow action by teachers has paralyzed normal academic activities for more than a month.

Mr. Gbengan lauded the county authorities for intervening to ensure that the matter is resolved.

Some parents in conversation with our correspondent expressed disappointment that their children are not in school due to government's inability to pay the teachers for 17 months.

They are calling on government to immediately settle the arrears owed the teachers so that their children can return to class.

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