Addressing Leave Fare Woes with K1.7 Million Allocation

In a decisive move to tackle the longstanding challenge faced by teachers in Papua New Guinea regarding delayed or reduced leave fares, the Western Highlands Provincial Government (WHPG) has pledged an impressive K1.7 million this year to ensure that approximately 986 eligible teachers receive a comprehensive leave fare package. Mr. Tom Noki, Chairman of the Leave Fares Committee, announced that this year’s budget allocation reflects a commendable increase of K400,000.00, demonstrating the government’s commitment to addressing the concerns of hardworking educators.

Under the leadership of Governor Wai Rapa, the provincial government has shown a deep appreciation for the quality of education provided by teachers to the students. Mr Noki highlighted that the budget allocation for teachers’ leave fares has seen a steady increase, with last year’s allocation at K1.3 million and a further boost to K1.7 million this year. He hinted that next year’s allocation might see additional increments.

Speaking on the matter last Friday, Mr Noki revealed that the Leave Fares Committee had received a total of 1725 leave applications this year. However, only 986 teachers were deemed eligible to receive leave fares, while 739 were unsuccessful in their applications.

Mr. Noki acknowledged the diligent screening process undertaken by the committee, pointing out that some applications had flaws, particularly instances of false and misleading information, commonly associated with double-dipping. “We have found out that some teachers are providing false and misleading information for double-dipping,” he stated, underscoring that such applications were considered unsuccessful.

Taking a firm stance against dishonest applications, Mr Noki warned,

“Those teachers who try to cheat and give my committee and me a hard time to go through and find out, we will refer them to the disciplinary committee.”

To streamline the process and provide timely relief to eligible teachers, Mr Noki assured that those entitled to leave fares would receive their entitlements one week in advance before the end of the academic year. The proactive measures taken by the Western Highlands Provincial Government mark a positive step towards rectifying the persistent challenges faced by teachers in securing their well-deserved leave fares.

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