27 Jul 2002

Solomon islands parents concerned by length of teacher's pay dispute

9:38 am on 27 July 2002

There are reports of mounting anger among parents of school children in Solomon Islands as teachers continue to protest over the government's failure to pay them on time.

They have been staging a sit in for three weeks.

This report from George Atkin in Honiara.

"Since members of the Solomon Islands National Teachers' Association decided to launch their civil disobedience protest three weeks ago, only teachers in Class 6 and Forms 3 and 5 have been giving lessons to their students as they will sit advanced examinations in August and October. About fifty parents have complained to the Honiara weekly national newspaper that they are angry because their children missed two years of schooling as a result of the recent ethnic conflict. And they add their children missed more classes this year as the school year had a late start because the government was unable to supply schools with operating grants. A dozen parents told the newspaper that they are still upset with the government because it promised a moratorium on school fees this year but, in the end, they had to meet the fees themselves. A number of parents also say they have told the prime minister, Sir Allen Kemakeza, that they have had enough of the mess."