Teachers plan to boycott classes over nonpayment

HUNDREDS of local teachers who worked as invigilators overseeing matric examinations last year claim they have not been paid.

The teachers include retired ones who had been deployed to finishing centres.

The centres were set up by the Department of Education to help matric pupils who failed in 2008 to upgrade their symbols ahead of last year's final examinations.

The teachers, who wished to remain anonymous, said department officials had promised to pay them last year after they completed their job.

One of the teachers said even those who worked as chief invigilators at various centres across the province were affected.

"We are sick and tired because all those who did some work related to the matric examinations were paid their dues and we are the only ones who have been left out."

Some of the affected invigilators told Sowetan they had lost hope, because they said nobody, including senior education officials, told them when they would be paid.

Last week a group of teachers working at the Kharigude Adult Education Programme in the Bolobedu South and N'wamitwa in the Greater Tzaneen, lashed out at the department for failing to pay them for almost the whole of last year.

Kharigude (let us learn) is a programme introduced by the Department of Education to provide basic education to elderly people to help them cope with the fast-growing world of technology.

The teachers threatened to boycott classes from this month until they were paid.

Provincial education department spokesperson Ndo Mangala said the delay was caused by officials going on holiday before processing the payments.

He assured the teachers that the department was working on the problem and urged them to remain calm.