OPPOSITION Leader Don Polye expressed concerns on Friday about the possible mass resignation of teachers and the State losing millions of kina in court battles for non-payment of leave fares in the affected provinces.
"I am equally concerned that the teachers’ grievance will affect the education calendar as the schools are set to start on Monday," he said in a statement.
"They may resort to court actions or withdrawal of their service for the government’s negligence in taking good care of their welfare."
Mr Polye said the government should not be beating its chests about the fee free education policy when the welfares of the very officers on the ground were not looked after.
He added that the increase in student enrolment had put a strain on the availability of teachers and the teacher-to-student ratio had been compromised.
"The fault in the system should become a lesson for the government. It should be identified with a workable one to avoid similar problem next year and onwards. "Looking after our teachers’ welfare forms the basis of quality education and that should not be taken for granted," he said.
Mr Polye was equally concerned about the manner in which the K26.8 million for teachers’ entitlements had been handled.
He has reiterated his call on the Government to strengthen the systems of accountability and good governance for weeding out corruption.
"The Opposition, when or if, in power has a comprehensive policy targeting to improve the welfare and professional working condition of all echelon of teachers. "The policy aims at listening to and improving their grievances beyond the free education policy," he said.
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