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Page added on September 21, 2011
Teachers nationwide have expressed sadness over the government’s pay package; and its 0% pay rise augmentation.
Just about mid-day Monday 19th, optimistic Sierra Leonean teachers felt taken aback barely after announcing that the sum of Le 100,000 had been added to their salaries in fulfillment of government’s pay package avowals.
It could be recalled that the sum of Le 100,000 was early this year 2011, added to the salaries of teachers as an auxiliary increment thus giving them hope that a better package would reach by the start of the new academic year; 2011-2012.
Upon adding the said amount into teachers’ salaries, the Minister of Education, Minkailu Bah, assured the teachers that by the end of 2011, the salary of a primary school teacher is expected to rise to the tune of a Le 1,000,000 and Le 1, 200, 000 respectively.
He however told the teachers that persons working for non governmental organizations (NGOs) shall have no option but give up their jobs to join the teaching field; a supposition seen as unfortunate to many Sierra Leoneans though.
Hopes diminished after it was proved that Minister Minkailu’s avowals of a good pay package for the teachers proved completely hopeless.
The officially announced teachers pay package is supposedly Le 140, 000 minus Le 40,000 as tax.
To the teachers, the package has got nothing good for that at all, but relatively adds up more dilemma to their financial plight.
Pundits are of the opinion that the previous pronouncement of ‘pay rise’ for teachers, which was fabricated by government through the Minister of Education, was nevertheless proved as mockery Monday 19th.
That the paltry sum of Le 100,000 that beefed up teachers’ salaries in the past months was explained as a remedial measure, while the actual package remained in the pipe line awaiting the President Koroma’s approval.
“As we put our ears to the ground in anticipation of a pay rise for us teachers, we were taken aback to disappointedly not realize any increment but the Le 100,000 long added into our salaries as a grease while we wait for the real pay package,” an aggrieved teacher said.
“We therefore in one voice insist on ‘NO PAY PACKAGE, NO SCHOOL.”
Just after the massive assembly of aggrieved teachers at the Rokel Secondary School Monday 19th, a school principal revealed to this press that government’s dragging of feet on the anticipated pay package is deliberate.
She insisted that proceeds budgeted for the pay package have been converted thus the acquisition of Treasury Bearer Bonds that are sure to earn them a coveted interest bonanza.
“It is agreeable that shying away from realities is as disastrous as having a minister of government economizing the truth for the gullible teachers to accept hook line and sinker,” Ya Mabinty a parent said.
“The teachers of Sierra Leone have asked for a salary increment, if it was not feasible it should have been the business of Government to lure them into something different, and not bogus promises that seems unachievable.”
“The re-opening of school is long over due yet the non-too-robust Minister continues his fourth year verifying and using ‘Ariogbo’ tactics to scan for ghost teachers. Shamefully, the reform package for teachers is nothing to write home about, and government must be made to do it better for them or risk a decline in the educational sector.”
Public’s assessments have it that the Minister of Education, Minkailu Bah, has proved to society that he is enough of a ‘square peg’ and cannot stand the test of time.
That he did not ‘live to tell the tale’ in the standoff between the Academic Staff Association of the University of Sierra Leone and Education Ministry and has failed to meet the concerns of aggrieved teachers,” Abu Kallokoh a teacher regretfully said.
It was hinted to Sierra Express Media that all the Minister of Education can pride itself of, is wittingly diverting the President’s attention to the animosity and campism that exists between the APC and the SLPP: “it is the opposition that are inducing the teachers,” he always says to the President.
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