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Over 500 teachers stranded

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Over 500 teachers in Liberia are reported to be stranded for days, after attending a workshop spearheaded by the Education Ministry in Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh County due to conflicting arrangements made by authorities to fulfill payments of teachers’ daily sitting allowance.

The Ministry confirmed the embarrassing situation faced by the teachers assembled from various counties across Liberia to participate in a workshop when state radio ELBC made a live inquiry with Education Ministry Spokesman Maxim Bleetan Tuesday morning.

Rather than using the banking system to pay the teachers’ DSA, there were claims that “a huge sum of money” was earlier given “to an employee” of the Ministry to go into the counties and pay the teachers, but Mr. Bleetan said, in response, some senior management staff at the Ministry took the decision before being nullified by Minister George Werner as not being “the best financial practice.

According to Mr. Bleetan, it was a concern for the Education Ministry when he was told of reports that the teachers were even finding it difficult to eat on grounds that many were out of money. “It’s a very serious concern for us because our professional and ethical teachers would not be stranded in Grand Gedeh without receiving any amount. This is why we apologize to them for not being able to get the money as they expected,” he said, claiming that the process regarding the money was done, but blamed the delays on “the road issue”.

He said the teachers’ money will be transferred through Ecobank and the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment or LBDI “for transparency and accountability.” But the state radio morning show hosts said a local bank insider had hinted that the bank had alarmed to Minister Werner that money was on its way to the counties, leaving him to cancel the checks based on the bank’s recommendation that it was not a good financial practice.

By Winston W. Parley – Edited by George Barpeen

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