Dr Sikua said the current teachers’ strike in protest to the government’s failure to pay them their salaries according to the new scheme of service is fully justified.
“This is because cabinet ministers and senior government officials failed miserably to carry out what is required of them to ensure funds were allocated in the 2012 budget for the implementation of this new exercise,” he said.
“It is a joke that cabinet approved the Teaching Service Handbook of December 2011 along with the new scheme of service therein without the faintest idea of the costing and the Minister for Education should be blamed for not doing his job.
“He should have instructed his staff to do the costing before taking a paper to Cabinet so it (Cabinet) could know exactly how much it would cost the government once it is approved and implemented by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance.
“It is mindboggling why the prime minister or any of his other Cabinet ministers did not question the Minister for Education on the cost of the revised salary scales for teachers when he submitted the current Teaching Service handbook to Cabinet for approval in February last year.
“To make matters worse, the relevant ministries did not do any costing throughout 2012 to ask for additional funding through a Supplementary Appropriation Bill so that teachers can be paid on the new revised salary scales,” he said.
The Opposition leader said the new scheme of service for teachers is very motivational and he is certain the country will see teachers performing up to the expectations of students, parents and the state once implemented.
“I hereby call on the government to find necessary funds to pay teachers on their new scheme of service and it must do so by brining a Supplementary Appropriation Bill to Parliament at its next meeting without fail.
“Our teachers have waited for a whole year in vain and I deem their move to go on strike is fully justified.
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