Showing posts with label Papua New Guinea Teachers Association. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Papua New Guinea Teachers Association. Show all posts

Provincial Education Advisers and Administrative Officers Are Misusing Teachers' Leave Fares

(former Education Officer in charge of teachers' leave fares in Morobe)

Pic courtesy: Post Courier Newspaper Jan 2015
The teachers leave fares issue has been ongoing matter mostly due to misappropriation by Division of Education heads in all provinces. Funds allocated purposely for leave fares were usually tampered with and diverted to cover up for shortfalls in other votes or items.

I am speaking from experience especially in Morobe where the highest allocation is given. Yet this is forever an issue year in year out. As the person formally in charge of teachers leave fares in Morobe, I can attest that the fault entirely lies with the provincial authorities and financial delegates in form of provincial education advisers and provincial administrative officers.


Every year funds have always allocated with delivery mechanism designed and in place to have all teachers receive their entitlements, but this all seemed on paper only as half of the funds has always been diverted to cover up for excessive travels, hire cars, hotel bills and travel allowances especially by senior officers.

The Department of Education and Teaching Services Commission should also shoulder blame as this is an overdue issue that should have been resolved a long time ago. Policies and TSC Act Section 130 that manages the teachers leave fares is outdated and should be updated with proper delivery mechanism in place that allows paying of leave fare without obstacles. The current delivery mechanism is effective, but needs tighter stringent measures on this funds so there is no diversion and misuse by provincial authorities, means the Finance Management Act also comes into play so this also has to be updated with stringent control on its use.

Morobe Province being the largest with highest number of teachers is a classic example of how funds meant for teachers leave fare has always had funds diverted by the education adviser and his administrative officer. Every year problems faced by teachers in regards to this has always been ignored and repeated the next year without anything being done by higher authorities.

Papua New Guinea Teachers' Association Must Stand Up For Teachers Without Media Bashing

Pic courtesy: EMTV News report
There is no need to go on strike yet. Teachers from Elementary to Secondary schools in each province has reps. They form the PNGTA. There needs to be a collaborative effort from them to fight for teachers remuneration and benefit. 

Unlike before, Facebook (and access to it) has changed the way Papua New Guineans communicate. PNGTA Chairman and reps from 22 provinces should, first, create an avenue for discussion. FB would be a good place to start. 

Second, they must stay in touch with teachers - communicate: find out if they have received their pay increase, Boarding and Duty allowances...etc. They have to have facts and figures at their finger tips. 

Third, those information must be presented to National Department of Education, Teachers' Service Commission and Education Minister on regular basis - this is their job. They MUST do that as well as 'media-bashing'. 

Fourth, PNGTA must pursue legal challenges to ascertain irregularities in teachers entitlements if they have to. They must ensure that the govt remains true to its PROMISES of pay increase. As I posted sometime ago, by 2016 every public servant will have realised a 30% increase in their salaries - this includes the teachers. 

That implied that PNG government has made a promise to pay the increase. So, PNGTA has to ensure that the government does what it says. If teachers are not receiving the increase or other entitlements over a year, they have to determine why. 

Finally, the onus is on PNGTA and teachers' reps in each province. IF the association feels that there is a need to call for a strike action,  by all means, they must do. But, going on strike (or pretending to go on strike by going to media like the PNGTA chairman did) is not the best way forward.

Ganim Report: National Department of Education and Teachers' Service Commission Need Proactive Leaders To Effect GR Recommendations

Commentary 

TSC Chairman, Mr Baran Sori, and NDoE secretary, Dr Michael Tapo, must be suspended for incompetency. Why a report - the Ganim Report - sanctioned by the Parliamentary Referral Committee on Education and conducted between March and April last year failed  on its 'Initial Findings'? 

As reported (in Post Courier) Ganim report was a working progress, but given that these leaders in Education are committee members, you would have thought last year should have ended well for teachers. They have seen the findings, they made submissions to PRCE, yet why have teachers not given 2014 leave entitlements?

The heads of education in the country are as dumb as any provincial education authorities and past and current education ministers. A bad combination!

PNGTA is planning court action. If a nationwide strike by teachers stops 2015 academic year, heads must roll. 

Get someone new to effect the recommendation of Ganim report. 

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PC report
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TEACHER woes in the country is no "overnight" problem which all 48,000 teachers in the country must first understand and bear with before help and long term solutions can be sought, Chairman of Parliamentary Referral Committee on Education (PRCE) and Wabag Open MP, Robert Ganim has said.

As such, he urged all teachers to refrain from any sort of industrial actions that could jeopardize the start of 2015 school year which millions of school children could be affected unfairly.

Mr. Ganim who led a PRCE nationwide investigation into the issues of teachers in the country between March and April last year said details of his findings (Ganim Report or GR) were presented to Parliament in its August 26 session.

Parliament adopted the GR and resolved that the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and the Department of Education (DoE) undertake the recommendations and report back to Parliament within three (3) months.

Pic courtesy: Post Courier - Cyril Gare file pic 
TSC Chairman, Mr. Baran Sori flanked by his Commissioners was addressing the PRCE Committee at the Parliament B2 Conference room on April 10, 2014 during the nationwide investigation into teachers’ issues. Cyril Gare file pic.

Upon which, a combined approach was taken by the TSC and DoE between September and November last year through the establishment of a Working Committee (WC) comprising TSC Chairman, Baran Sori as Chairman, Dr. Uke Kombra, Mr. Titus Romano Hatagen, PNG Teachers’ Association General Secretary, Mr. Ugwalabu Mowana, and Fr. Paul Jennings.

The WC undertook the recommendations of Parliament which resulted in a detail Report that is ready to be presented to PRCE Chairman Ganim who then will present to Parliament for adaptation when it resumes on February 10, 2015 at 2:30 pm.

The WC Report provides specific policy directions, identifies strategic outcomes, provides general guidelines in implementing these policy directions, set out the monitoring and evaluation framework, and provides costing – about K26 million - for its implementation over a five (5) year period (2015-2019).

According to the WC, the Government has work to do - in the long term - in addressing the teachers’ problems in these key areas:

 Review functions of Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and Department of Education (DoE);

 Review and define teachers’ salaries and allowances;

 Review the teacher appointment process;

 Review the tenure appointment process;

 Review salaries and entitlements of teachers;

 Decentralize ALESCO pay system to provincial education authorities;

 Adopt an effective and efficient teacher leave fare management;

 Create a leave fare data base;

 Make TSC assumes financial autonomy as a separate entity of State;

 Review process of retrenchment, retirement and resignation of teachers;

 Establish a centralised teachers’ information database; and

Provide manpower and capacity development for teachers.

Happy Christmas Teachers | Have You Got Your 10% Increment Government Promised You in 2013?


Many Papua New Guineans are looking forward to a good holiday. Some will travel home from towns and cities. Others will travel to see the bright lights of Lae and Port Moresby. Many will have stayed where they are. 

Cost of transportation and accommodation are very high. They may not be able to get through the holiday if they had not stayed back. One group of public servants are finding it really tough – the teachers. Their sentiments are shared on PNG Teachers on Facebook, a group of over 2500 teachers in the country. 

Unlike other public servants; teachers are poorly paid, overworked and often neglected at this time of the year. One of the main concerns they raised online was delay in Leave Fares. Though it is mandatory that eligible teachers are given their leave fares, the delay has been chronic and remains a yearly occurrence. 

Another yearly problem that affects our teachers is timely release of Boarding and Duty Allowances. Any teacher who does boarding duties throughout the year is entitled to this allowance. Why have many cry foul over non-payment? 

When Dr Puka Temu announced a Christmas Gift for the hard working members of parliament in November 2013, he also declared 7.5% increase for general public servants pay with a 2.5% concurrent increase to 2016. The MPs got their 7 % increase backdated to January 1st of 2013 are enjoying the other increases this year, too . But, the question of whether other public servants got their promised increment remains to be answered.

Teachers are not able to determine their pay grade. This is simply because many of them, especially the new graduates and teachers in remote locations, have not got their pay slips. Some may not even know what a pay slip looks like as they have never got one. 

So, how much are the teachers paid? The salaries are calculated by adjusting to a midpoint salary. In other words, an average is calculated from Pay Grades 1 to 12. The averages for 2014, 2015 and 2016 are K21 000, K23 100 and K25 410 respectively. This gives an impression of a total increase of 30% (7.5% x 3 yrs + 2.5% x 3 yrs) That means that the government would have been paying the teachers a 10% compounded increment between 2014 and 2016. That is a good news for teachers. 



Click here for teachers' pay structure. The challenge now is to ensure the government remains true to its promise to underpaid teachers. Teachers’ representatives from PNG Teachers Association have to highlight problem areas. There is never a better time to do it, than now. 

Put a stop to delays teachers face with getting their leave fares, ensure they get their boarding and duty allowances on time and get their pay slips to them where ever they are. Above all, the pay increments have to be evident in teachers’ pay. Have they got the increases for 2013 and 2014?