Temotu teachers travel allocation - Solomon Star News

Temotu teachers travel allocation

27 January 2014

Dear Editor - Please allow me to reply the Principal Education Officer (Mr. Philip Arofa Niusilani) of Temotu Province on the topic Temotu Teachers Allocation Payout 2013-2014 which appears in the Editor’s column in your paper on Monday 20th January 2014 (Issued No: 5407).

Firstly, as a Senior Officer of Temotu Province, Mr. Arofa’s letter does not reflect his Seniority.

His article seems to go all over the place and does not address the issue at hand clearly for Temotu Teachers (Is this the way Senior Officer respond to complains?). Temotu Teachers know that he is not a teacher friendly Officer.

Let me respond to Mr Niusilani’s explanation on the issue at hand.

Mr. Niusilani claimed that Temotu Education Authority has taken a more organized transport of teachers back to school in 2014 is a real joke and a slap on the face of Temotu teachers.

Teachers in Temotu know that this is not true. The arrangement Mr Arofa mentioned in his article is a real surprise.
Temotu teachers were told by the Temotu Education Office to submit their proposed travel expense for 2013/2014, which individual teachers did, but the arrangement stated in his article is a new revelation.

Mr. Niusilani seems to use double tongue. He and his Officers seem to tell the teachers one arrangement and he stated another arrangement in the Solomon Star (which advice will Temotu Teachers adhere to?).

Mr Arofa stated that TTA deposit to teachers account should not be viewed as another pay day.

He further claimed that the Temotu Education Office cannot make another pay out for teachers until an Accountant is available.

I do not understand what he is trying to clarify. My research reveals that on 24th December 2013, Temotu Education Office made a payout for 26 teachers an amount of $96,600 in their BSP Account (I can give you the said list if you want).

To add anomaly to the statement he made, the Education Accountant has left Lata on the month of November 2013 (Is November and December the same month?). Who are you trying to blind Mr Niusilani? Is $96,600 (a lucrative amount!!) to only 26 teachers of Temotu Province not regarded by then as another lucrative pay-day? Your action does not reflect what you try to preach.

Again, there seem to be great inconsistency in the amount pay to individual 26 teachers. For example two teachers from the same Island; one received $8,000 whose home village is nearer, while the other whose home is furthers only receive $1,500. Does transport cost diminish as one goes further? (I do not think so).

Another inconsistency is one teacher whose home is at the bottom bay of Gracious Bay receive $8,000. Is Lata to bottom Bay furthest?

Another receives $18,000 for remaining in the school. The heading of the payout you made is clear, it’s for teachers travel. Is residing in the school a form of travelling for vocation?

Is this the kind of “Financial Instruction” you were advice to follow? (Withdrawing large amount without an Accountant?) Where is your sense of fairness, Justice and transparency? Mr Arofa, Mifala Tisa lon Temotu Province no pikinini man!. You seem to hiding behind “midrip”!

There are approximately 400 plus teachers serving Temotu Province, I am sure there are more than 26 Genuine Teachers. Why only 26 Teachers? When will the others receive their entitlement? (When you come back from Isabel?).

Who knows how much you withdraw to go to Isabel? (We can find out if we want to!) Is this what you termed as being responsible? Buccaneering Temotu teachers travel money for you and your crones’ benefits?

In case you do not know teachers in the country are entitle to have travel money annually for their vocation. It is therefore the responsibility of the Education Authorities to ensure teachers receive and greedy!! AMEN!

Finally my research also reveals that my colleagues in other Education Authorities are faced with the same dilemma year in and year out.

May I humbly call on the Government to carry out an Independent investigation on how the Education Authorities pay out Teachers Travelling Allowance and verify that the said Teachers’ entitlement is not misuse by persons in the Education Authorities for their own benefits (umi no save).

Teachers throughout the country smell corruption continues to be committed regarding this issue. Please Government of the day do something to resolve this issue once and for all!! Answer Ion SI Government now!!! Awis

Simon Mekope
Temotu Province