Teachers leave fares in the country continue to be an on-going issue every year where they are either eligible or not eligible to receive their leave fares.
As for teachers in East New Britain, this seems to be the main case where only 50% of their leave fares were released to them.
ENB Education Advisor, Mr Alkan Mararang said, teachers were not paid on time, however their leave fares were paid out to them during the Christmas week.
He said the delay was caused by outstanding payments from 2020 that had to be settled first before teachers could receive their fares for 2021.
The East New Britain Education Division has been faced with the ongoing issues with backlogs that date back to 2020 and this has affected leave fares for this year.
He said that they are working towards removing these back logs so that teachers’ payment will not be affected in the long run.
“I have put together a budget for this year that will cater for this year’s leave fares and also for all outstanding payments from previous years as far as 2017.”
Despite Mararang’s effort in making it possible for teachers to receive their leave fares, teachers in the province have aired their frustration after realizing it was it was too late to spend Christmas in their villages.
Meanwhile the Principal of Utmei Secondary, Mr. Bernard Manau, said teachers in his school were also disappointed that the leave fares arrived late and only half of it was paid out.
“Five to six percent of our teachers are from other provinces, who are not happy about the payment they were given.”
“It is the job of the government to make sure they are fully compensated.”
He said most of the teachers could not go for holidays as their leave fares were not enough to take them back and forth.
“Apart from these ongoing issues, the teachers are always striving to do their best in teaching and have not once failed in their job just because of something like this.”
Photo credit: Kuri Photography (File photo): Some teachers from Utmei Secondary pose with School Principal Bernard Manau