By Delly Bagu – EM TV, Port Moresby
Minister for Education, Nick Kuman, said the issue with teachers’ entitlements is a management issue.
The minister has directed the Teaching Services Commission, together with respective Provincial Education offices, to get to the bottom of the problems.
He said the fact that only a handful of provinces have the same issues every year, means that these are management issues.
Mr Kuman said legacy issues were to blame also, with accrued leaves being absorbed into each financial year and this has been a continuous problem. It affects other teachers who want to take their leave.
He clarified that the department of education at Waigani doesn’t keep any entitlements or funds; and that the money goes to the provinces. He said seeing that about three to four provinces have had the same problems every year, means that these are management issues.
Minister Kuman has therefore directed the Teaching Services Commission in collaboration with those provinces affected to get to the bottom of the issue, and address them accordingly.
“The department wants to see that the welfare of teachers taken care of. They are entitled to their leave every two years,” he said.
The process requires that when a teacher is due for leave in a particular year, all leave documents must be submitted to the Provincial Education system between January and April the previous year. This is so that the leave entitlement budget can be made and be included in the department’s budget in the overall National Budget.
Secretary for Education, Dr Michael Tapo, also explained how the system works in terms of teachers getting access to their entitlements.
Minister Kuman assured all teachers who are affected that whatever is due to them, the Department will ensure they are paid. He urged all teachers, in the meantime, to return to their respective schools and prepare for the start of the 2015 academic year.