10 Jan 2003

Solomon Islands school year delayed by fears of teacher strike

11:29 am on 10 January 2003

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Education has moved the start of the school year back one week to January the 20th in a measure to avert a threatened teacher strike.

There have been concerns that school would not be able to start in time because teachers were owed four pay arrears.

However the minister, Mathias Taro, says one payment was made this week and he says the remaining wages totalling more than 500-thousand US dollars should be paid before the start of the school year.

Mr Taro says he has put a paper before cabinet to prioritise payment to the teachers.

He says he is optimistically approaching the new year and he says students will have minimal disruption.

"I think the.government has to meet the teacher's requirement of three pay days. We are confident we will do that before schools start."