Liberia: Govt Teachers Reject Mutilated Banknotes

Hundreds of public school teachers from the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) in Montserrado County who overwhelmed premises of GN Bank Liberia Limited on Broad Street in Monrovia to receive two months' salary arrears, are rejecting mutilated Liberian banknotes disbursed by the bank.

Some of the disappointed teachers, who spoke to this paper Thursday, 17 October on anonymity, lamented that it was very frustrating that the bank would disburse banknotes that can hardly be accepted for business transaction, which poses serious problem for them as end users.

They explain most of the notes being issued them by the bank are unbecoming, and they find it difficult, if not impossible to take them to the market for transaction purposes due to their physical condition.

A female teacher from the government-run G.W. Gibson High School on Capitol By-pass in Monrovia explains that she already has in her possession lots of mutilated Liberian banknotes, which were previously received from the bank, but can't be used to buy anything because of their defaced condition.

The teachers overwhelmed the teller windows at the bank, as tellers were busy disbursing Liberian dollars component of instructors' salary arrears with some of them seriously complaining about the disbursement processes.

However, an official of the GN Bank, who declined to reveal his name and position, attributes the situation to alleged refusal of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to withdraw mutilated banknotes from circulation, which continues to pose problem for end users most of whom have no extract means of spending them for business transaction.

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) on Monday and Wednesday this week through the Management of GN Bank sent two separate text messages to all MCSS teachers in Montserrado County, informing them of their salaries for August and September being ready at the bank for disbursement.

MCSS teachers boycotted classes early this week in demand of salary arrears owed them by the government, a situation which led to students from the System taking to the streets in a solidarity protest that subsequently turned violent.

Students from Williams V. S. Tubman High, A. Glenn Elementary, Newport Junior High and G.W. Gibson High schools respectively joined the protest in demand for their instructors' salary arrears.

Police discharged tear gas canisters at the protesting students, many of whom sustained wounds and were rushed to hospital for medication. The action by the police has received widespread public condemnations.

As a result of the teachers' boycott of classes and subsequent demonstrations, most students did not show up on their various school campuses though administrative staffers were present.

During a visitation to the schools mentioned, this reporter was informed by authorities on those campuses that teachers had gone to the bank to receive their salaries for August and September.

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