Wait a long time to go home
BY JOAN BAILEY
Morobe’s Education Department will need a budget of K1.5 million to repatriate more than 150 teachers in the province who are retired but awaiting their return to their province of origin.
Morobe Provincial Education Advisor Keith Tangui said in an interview that these teachers were teaching in Morobe until they received their letters from the Teaching Service Commission to retire from teaching and therefore retired.
Mr. Tangui said these teachers should have been returned to their home provinces after they retired, but had not done so in the past 10 years.
For example, he said that many retired teachers are still waiting for their return assignment, and those teachers deserve a good goodbye for their service.
“Many teachers have died waiting to be repatriated and that is sad, so we made a proposal to the Morobe Provincial Government to allocate funds for the repatriation of retired teachers next year so they can go home happily. instead of waiting all the time.
“Some teachers are still occupying teachers’ houses in our elementary and secondary schools in Lae and, despite requests from school authorities, do not move out because they do not have an apartment,” he said.
Mr. Tangui said that the return of retired teachers will be a priority for the department for the next year and after the return of all retired teachers; they ensure that teachers who return annually who retire at the end of the year receive financial support.
He said when they retire they must get their repatriation assignment which is the province’s assignment aside from their golden handshake from the national government and their retirement pension so that they can be satisfied for their service to education and return home .
Former Omili Elementary School principal Philip Pep and his wife, also a former Omili teacher, have retired but still occupy a staffing unit on the school’s teacher’s premises.
Mr Pep said he retired in 2012 after teaching at schools in Morobe for 27 years, while his wife retired in 2019 and they are still awaiting their repatriation funds to move to their home province in the Western Highlands province to return.
He said they could move out easily, but his frustration that the Morobe provincial government and administration through the Education Department overlooked this vital task that did not provide funding for retired teachers’ farewells held him back.
“The education department should be in tune with and prioritize the return exercise like teachers who died in their service.
“We respect her and are concerned that the past teacher’s return exercises for retired teachers in the province have been very effective and we want retired teachers to return to their home province with a smile as their service is valued and recognized will, “said Pep.
Former headmaster of Taraka Elementary School, Thomas Bweheni, raised similar concerns, adding that he was one of six other teachers in Lae district who announced their termination from effective classes in advance last year.