Gasabo District Advisory Council has given the Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs a deadline of December, 25 to have paid over 150 primary and secondary school teachers their salary arrears, some of which date back to nine months.
Narcisse Ndagijimana was on Monday put to task to explain why the problem of teachers’ salaries has persisted despite promising to solve problem on many occasions.
The council’s chairman, Francois Gakwerere, expressed with bitterness how teachers on several occasions have approached him inquiring about their salaries.
“These teachers have rent to pay, children to feed, so for them to spend all this period without being paid exposed them to harsh living conditions,” said Gakwerere, pointing out that some of the teachers had come to him saying they had been thrown out of their rented homes.
“You can imagine the pain such a teacher is going through, some walk very long distances to go and teach because they cannot afford paying the taxi fare and thereafter teach on empty stomachs,” lamented Gakwerere.
The Advisory Council holds the vice mayor responsible for the teachers plight saying that he has done very little in ensuring that the teachers are paid. Responding to the council’s accusation, Ndagijimana pleaded, saying that he also inherited the problem.
“I inherited a much disorganised office whereby all the workers in the education unit in the district were unqualified to do the work; I have been struggling to put the unit on course all this time hence leading to all the problems,” argued Ndagijimana.
Some Advisory Council members however dismissed his claims saying that he would have solved the problems since he has been in the office since September 2008.
The Council, after long discussions, told Ndagijimana to solve the problem by the deadline or face the axe.
In a recent interview, the State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary education Dr. Mathias Harebamungu, warned six districts which have had problems with teachers’ salaries.
They include Gasabo, Nyagatare, Gatsibo, Kayonza, Karongi and Muhanga.