Keetmanshoop — The Kavango West education directorate is hard at work to ensure the backlog of gratuity payments to former teachers is cleared.
This is according to Kavango West education director Teopolina Hamutumua who in an interview with New Era said the region is doing all it can to process all payments due by the end of the 2017/18 financial year.
An end of contract gratuity package of 16 percent is supposed to be paid to all temporary teachers by the end of their contracts, but this has not been the case for the past few years for the region, with payments said to be backdated as far back as 2012. The director says the target is to clear the backlog by the end of the financial year.
"We are committed to see all backdated activities cleared - our staff members have moved mountains to this effect by going beyond the call of duty, so we are doing everything in our power to clear the deadlock before the end of the current financial year," she said.
She added that while human resource officers are doing their best to process payments, this will also depend on the availability of funds, especially for payments backdated as far as 2012 and which now have to be accommodated in the current financial year.
She explained that the department dealing with payments not only deals with the processing of payments, but also has to attend to other equally important tasks, while she noted that the lack of office equipment such as computers, printers, and a shortage of office space at Nkurenkuru also remain a challenge in carrying out duties efficiently.
"Our HR have many other duties and responsibilities, and separation gratuity is just a fraction of that, so we ask our staff to be patient as processing of payments is ongoing," she said.
The regional education head said the region has set a target of processing a minimum of two files per week per human resource personnel, which is strictly monitored and adhered to.
She further revealed that as of to date, a total of 40 people have been paid, while another 24 will receive their payments by this Friday.