BY: Kebba AF Touray
Some Arabic teachers who graduated from the Professional Teaching Certificate (PTC11) of 2016, Wednesday 11th October 2017,convened a press briefing with some journalists, to vent out their dissatisfaction and challenges they are faced with, in terms of unpaid salaries. The press briefing was held at the Union Secretary’s residence in Sukuta.
Abdou Khadir Camara, the PRO of the Union explained that since their graduation in 2015, they were given employment letters as teachers from the Arabic and Islamic Education Secretariat (AMANA) and that since January 2017, they have not been paid.
‘‘We made series of visits and writings to the head of AMANA, Personnel Management Office (PMO) and the Ministry of Education regarding our unpaid salaries, but the responses are not forthcoming,’’ Camara stated
Camara said they did so with the hope and confidence that the stakeholders would swiftly act and ensure that they are paid; that they were promised at MoBSE that something will be done about them; that they revisited the place to follow up on the matter, but the situation still persists. Camara outlined that they tabled the matter with the head of AMANA, Mr. Essa Darboe, on the 16th of August 2017 and with the Permanent Secretary on the 18th of September, but were told that the discussions were ongoing.
Asked what took them so long without consulting the stakeholders involved to avert this predicament, Camara responded that they have been exercising patience with the hope that they will value their complaints and provide solutions, but stated that it has reached breaking point. “We have been pushed to the corner for so long. It has become unbearable and we cannot go any further with the burden,” said Camara.
He said they have families to feed and children’s tuition fees to pay; that with this situation, all these are hanging in the balance with little or no hope of success. He cited that they are employed by AMANA and their salaries come from the International Development Bank (IDB) through the Education Ministry and appealed to Government to intervene and remedy the situation.