Frustrated teachers halt Balob registration

Registration at the Balob Teachers College in Lae will only start once their recent graduates get their diplomas.

A large number of frustrated teachers who graduated in the past two years gathered outside the administration building today, demanding answers from the principal.

It is believed over 600 teachers who graduated from Balob in 2019 and 2020 are yet to receive their diplomas.

Samson Nicholas, who is from Southern Highlands, graduated in 2019 and was posted to the Eroro Primary School in Northern Province. Without his diploma and teacher provisional registration, he has not been put on payroll.

“Those two things were not there so they had to send us back again to look for them at the college,” he said. “But when we came, we haven’t seen anything in the college.”

Joining Nicholas and his 2019 batch are those who graduated last year. They are calling on the secretary of the Department of Education to fast-track the process and give them their diplomas. Without their certificates, they will not be given a position.

Addressing the group was principal Jerry Hendingao, who explained that the main reason behind the delay was the conduct of quality checks. The process, which is underway, aims to weed out those who had initially enrolled through fraudulent means.

“People entered the colleges using low GPAs, people entered the colleges using scanned certificates, people entered the college changing genuine marks with scanned marks; that is the problem. That is why they have been doing vetting all this time.”

The Balob principal further revealed that a lot of those teachers who graduated in 2019 will be receiving their deregistration letters soon as it was found during vetting that they have forged their marks to gain admission into teachers colleges.

He said the second reason behind the delay was the importing of papers with unique, special features for the diplomas, adding the papers had arrived late last year. The use of these imported papers was to prevent the common illegal practice of individuals writing their names over another person’s.

Meantime, the principal has agreed to the teachers’ demand that classes at Balob will not start until they get their diplomas. This also means that some classrooms will be without teachers this week as the members of the group are willing to wait until they get a favourable response.

(Teachers outside the Balob Teachers College administration building)

Carmella Gware