Role of PNG Teachers Association Questioned

By Quinton Alomp – EM TV, Port Moresby

The role of the PNG Teachers Association has been put under spotlight once again.

This time, teachers in the Western Highlands province have raised concerns that the association was not addressing their welfare and leave fare concerns appropriately.

Mount Hagen primary school head teacher, David Numbaming, blamed the national president, Tommy Hecko, for “illegally holding the PNGTA office” after the failed election in 2009.

In an interview with EMTV, the Mt Hagen primary school head teacher, David Numbaming and PNGTA branch President for the Western Highlands province, Aita Sanangkepe, said the PNG Teachers Association is malfunctioning because people occupying the top seats are not legally voted in after the failed election in 2009.

Mr Numbaming said the four regions of Papua New Guinea were supposed to have two representatives each, however this was not the case with the Highlands region.

He said half of the Teachers Association members have resigned leaving only six in position.

He claimed that PNGTA current President, Tommy Hecko, is illegally in office therefore is silent in addressing teachers’ issues.

Mr Numbaming has called on the Education Minister, Nick Kuman, to immediately conduct an election for a new Teachers’ Association President.

The teachers’ leader in Western Highlands also expressed similar sentiments.

The two leaders have praised the government for dismantling the Outcome Based Education system and reassure the government that Teachers in Western Highlands will not continue any sit in protest when classes resumes. 

However, they want a full investigation into the PNGTA issue, teachers leave fares and welfare must be addressed.

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