Teachers Rush For Leave Fare

Teachers in Morobe stood in line as early as 5am today to get their leave fares.

Over 1,000 teachers in Morobe Province have been joining the queue at Tutumang Haus since Tuesday, hoping to get their leave fares quickly so they can spend Christmas at home.

By 5am today, a line had already formed outside the small education office, with teachers coming from as far as the Huon Gulf district, Tewai-Siassi, Markham and Menyamya.

Tempers flared as they pushed and shoved to get in front of the small door where the provincial administration officers were seated.

Female teachers with their babies had to stand a safe distance away as their rowdy colleagues impatiently pushed towards the door.

Provincial program advisor for education, Keith Tangui, had to step in and appeal for control, telling the group that they will get their money.

Tangui said K10 million has been allocated for all teachers in Morobe.

He assured them that they will continue working until all of them get their leave fares; this is despite the closure of government services at 12pm today.

The program advisor outlined that it is up to the teachers to behave and line up properly, letting pregnant mothers and those with babies to get served first.

Tangui directed the teachers to form two groups in front of two separate buildings; two regions in a group.

He clarified that this congested situation occurs at the end of every year because the Morobe education division only has two provincial administration officers who need to witness and sign every single form from the teachers, to ensure that the right person has picked up the cheque.

Meantime, repatriation payment has also been given out to the families of the 11 teachers who passed away this year.

(Teachers crowding outside the Morobe provincial education office)

Carmella Gware