Deputy Education Minister Dr. Algassimu Jah has ordered the non-payment of traveling allowance to community teachers undergoing a verification exercise in the Bombali District. This was disclosed by the Deputy Director of Education (North) Mowan Haja Ramatu Kanu on Monday August 11th 2008.
Addressing hundreds of teachers at the Bombali District Education Council (BDEC) Primary School in Makeni, the education chief also disclosed that three types of teachers will be verified. According to Madam Kanu, teachers on government payroll voucher with pin code and deployed teachers are inclusive. The community teachers will only be verified and the eighty thousand Leones (Le 80,000) traveling allowance paid to the other two categories will not be paid to them.
She further disclosed that teachers who verify without their original certificate will be placed under the column of “others” after the verification. The issue of verifying community teachers without payment of traveling allowance has received criticism from angry teachers.
Mr. Issa Stevens Koroma, a community teacher who has taught for 18 months at a Village School, described the minister’s order as “frustrating.” He insisted that if at the end of the exercise their transport allowance is not paid, they will have no other alternative but to abandon the classroom.
What has further compounded the problem is when payment in the other regions of the north – like Kambia and Koinadugu – has been effected successfully and peacefully. The question that begs for an immediate answer is: Why Bombali District?
The community teachers complained that they have loaned money from their colleagues in the village with the understanding that they will repay when they are paid their traveling allowances.
Meanwhile, a group of irritated community teachers have threatened to take the matter up with the Resident Minister North Hon. Alie Kamara.