Mr Minister of Education,
For years, we have heard sweet campaign promises of a Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE), Free SHS, the building of more classrooms, supplying of more textbooks, teaching and learning materials. All these amenities matter in quality education but not at the expense of the trained teacher.
I write to remind your outfit of a particular callous ordeal done to a 42 year-old man. The said man is an assistant headmaster of the Agormanya Methodist JHS who has been at post for two and a half years now without salary. Despite his disability, the degree holder —Mr. Michael Godsway Patamia—has selflessly rendered his service to the school. The father of four (expecting his fifth child) has virtually being reduced to a beggar. He lives on charity from his aged mother, colleagues, church members, etc.
Mr. Patimia has paid his dues by training many to read, write and pass their exam with distinction. It is unfortunate a man of his age and rank can not rent a room but for the intervention of the Methodist Church. I’m grieved this man is poor not because he is jobless or too lazy to farm to support himself and his family. He is as poor because some corrupt officials of the Ministry of Education and Controller and Accountant General’s Department have sat on his cash. They have hidden behind bureaucracy in the system and delays of the Single Spine Salary Structure to stall. As it stands now, Mr. Patimia is too broke to grease their palms.
While some teachers are going on strike for better conditions of service, Mr Patamia’s situation is worsening. How do we then expect teachers to produce good result in the traditional government school?
Mr Minister, going to the any of the offices of the GES to follow up on the arrears is as fruitless as chasing the wind. You will meet many arrogant busy-bodies of officials who will maltreat you and waste your time.
How can teachers teach our future leaders when their hearts are filled with contempt and regret? It’s impossible to concentrate in the class when he’s wondering what to eat or how pay the many debtors.
When officials send salary adjustment letters to Controller and Accountant General, know there’s corruption brewing. Even teacher transfer, application for one’s “Back Pay” are all avenues for corrupt officials to make money.
As for GNAT, I don’t even want to talk about their failure in seeking a better service conditions for members. Mr Minister, GES should be ashamed of themselves for subjecting this gentleman to public ridicule. Why should the voiceless teacher in Agormanya wait for close to three years to enjoy his own sweat. Heads should roll for once.
The poor man is not asking for a Judgement Debt for the breach of contract or any big time compensation. The poor headmaster is only asking for his two and half year-salary.