Solomon Islands pushes new reform to monitor teachers
The removal of about 50 teachers from Ministry of Education files in Solomon Islands, following a nationwide assessment, has pushed the Ministry to create a new reform to monitor Teacher postings.
The names of about 50 teachers in Solomon Islands have been removed from Ministry of Education files after a nationwide assessment found their jobs could not be verified.
The assessment covered more than 9,500 teachers under the authority of 32 Education Boards across the country.
The Ministry says a lack of resources has made it difficult to monitor teachers' postings, especially in remote areas.
Indira Moala has more.
Director of Teaching Services Matthias Kutai says in some provinces, teachers had never been verified by the Ministry of Education as qualified teachers. In other provinces the Government had been paying 'ghost teachers' who had left their postings as far back as three years ago.
MATTHIAS KUTAI: We could have one or two teachers teaching in the provinces in some of the remote islands and we would assume that they have been teaching. But in some instances they have already transferred and work somewhere (else). So the education authorities might not have reported that to us.
The Solomon Islands National Teachers Association, or SINTA, says a lack of monitoring of teachers and where they are posted is a big problem in the country. SINTA's assistant general secretary, Charlie Pango, says teachers need to be more honest with Education authorities.
CHARLIE PANGO: It's a bad practice. They don't deserve to be paid when they are not doing any teaching at all. I don't know who to blame, but the system is like that here. They are not properly monitored and a lot of teachers are running around the place without properly informing the authorities about where they are. Yeah, it's a real problem here.
Mr Pango says it is time the Ministry of Education got serious about the issue.
CHARLIE PANGO: A lot of teachers here are uncontrolled. But the Ministry responsible should be more serious about it and have some sort of measures or something to track them down. Some teachers are still trying to make sense of their employment and they put pressure on the Ministry of Education.
Mr Kutai says the Ministry of Education is currently working on a new reform strategy to improve the monitoring of teachers and their postings.
MATTHIAS KUTAI: We are putting tighter measures on our education authorities to actually come up with as soon as possible, as soon as they get the postings at the beginning of the year, and they really need to quickly verify these teachers that are not working. And then they have to send it to us so that we do the necessary actions that need to be taken.
Matthias Kutai says those teachers who had been removed from the payroll would only be required to pay back the wages they were overpaid if they were re-employed as teachers.
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