The Inquirer (Monrovia)

Liberia: Several Science Teachers Complain to Ellen

A group of science instructors currently working with the Ministry of Education throughout the country has complained about the ministry's refusal to put them on payroll. Subsequently, the science instructors who are teaching Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry throughout Liberia are appealing to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to come to their aid by requesting the Ministry of Education to place them on payroll.

Speaking through their spokesman(named withheld), the aggrieved Science instructors said officials of the Ministry of Education had on countless occasions promised placing them on payroll but nothing has come to fruition.

The instructors numbering 26 said they were recruited in 2010 and 2011 by the Ministry of Education that continues to give them 'pocket change' as allowance but have refused to pay them just salary. The instructors noted that after vetting and employing them they were deployed throughout the country as part of the Government of Liberia (GOL) quest to strengthen the ability of students to perform in the sciences.

However, they stressed that while their colleagues were employed, 26 of them were left in the wilderness only to be given allowances instead of the allowance and salaries as it is being done to their employed colleagues.

The aggrieved science instructors said their qualifications range from Bachelor to Master Degrees, saying, "We were never sent to school by the government and why must the state refuse to pay our salaries to enable us cater to our respective families?"

They also told the INQUIRER that prior to the beginning of the current academic year, they had a conference with authorities of the Ministry of Education and it was agreed that they would be paid and lodging allowances would also be paid as they take up assignments in the various counties.

Currently many of their colleagues have been given notices to move from the homes they are occupying in the leeward counties only because they are not being paid to pay their rent.

They said many of them took the assignment because government had promised to further their education by sending them to do their respective masters abroad something which automatically encouraged many of them to go into the venture of teaching science students.

They appealed to the Liberian leader, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to give a mandate that they be places on payroll and pay their salary arrears.

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