Modernized Slavery in Schools
What resembles a modernized form of slavery is now obtaining in most, if not all, of our schools where many so-called volunteer teachers have been teaching for several years without approval and salary, a situation that has been inflicting a heavy financial burden on the school heads most of whom are obligated by empathy to be scraping from the meager school funds to give monthly stipends to the starving teachers many of whom are far better qualified than even some of those on pay roll.
Beside the financial embarrassment it is creating for school heads, the non-payment of “volunteer” teachers has been a recipe for the massive academic fraud plaguing our educational system which has so progressively retrogressed that we can no longer boast of being branded as The Athens of West Africa.
I wonder why it takes the administration of Minkailu Bah so long a time to approve and put on payroll the new “volunteer” teachers. Is the documentary work involved so tedious that it has to take the Education Ministry a whole decade to approve and put on salary a new teacher? Or is there not enough money to pay these slaving teachers? Or may I be correct to suggest that it is just mere wickedness on the part of the Education Minister?
In those good old days, you start receiving salary the very month you start to teach, unlike nowadays when you have to wait for ages. How can we achieve our quality education when we keep large number of teachers frustrated and pauperized?
I wholeheartedly laud the Government of Sierra Leone for its good initiative to upgrade the salaries and other conditions of service for approved teachers but I take great exception to the government’s failure to approve and pay hundreds of the volunteer teachers who continue to render valuable services to this nation. I view such treatment meted out to the teachers as very unfair and a violation of their right to survive. Minkailu Bah will never be a happy man if he is not paid his big salary for even a month.
So, why should Minkailu Bah not empathize with the stranded teachers and approve all of them in the best interest of our much-desired quality education. Minkailu Bah should not be oblivious of the fact that teachers made him what he is today.
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