9 Jan 2003

School restart in Solomons delayed but Minister optimistic for the coming year

5:09 pm on 9 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 teachers strike.

There have been concerns that school would not be able to start in time because teachers are owed three pay arrears or six weeks wages.

The Minister, Mathias Taro, says a 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 requirements of the teachers. It's three paydays and we are quite confident we will do that before school starts"

Mathias Taro.