OPUWO, 20 MAY (NAMPA) ? Fourty-seven teachers of the Ondoa Mobile School who have not been paid since January this year, have threatened not to go back to work when schools re-open on Tuesday this week.
The group of teachers issued the threat on Monday at the Ondao Mobile Office after they realised their salaries have not been processed at all.
Among the 47 teachers are 26 teachers who have not been paid a single cent since they were appointed as temporary teachers in January this year.
Others were only paid for two months - January and March this year.
One of the teachers who spoke to Nampa on condition of anonymity, said staff of the Directorate of Education in the Kunene Region are deliberately not paying them due to ?miss-understandings? between them and the teachers.
?The Director of Education and the Deputy Director want to get rid of us because we do not qualify to be teachers, given our low points obtained in Grade 12.
We challenged them and requested special provision from the Permanent Secretary, who gave us a contract of one year on condition that we improve our points to qualify,? said the teacher.
According to the teachers, they will find it very difficult to go back to school on empty stomachs and without money to buy cosmetics or even to pay for transportation back to the school.
?We will also not be trusted by the community members who assisted us with loans and credit, with the expectation that we will pay them when we get paid,? noted another teacher.
They claim that they were told by personnel at the education directorate here that if they are not happy they should leave, so that the directorate can employ other people with qualifications to teach.
Approached for comment, the Principal of the Ondao Mobile School, Amon Kapi said he was aware of the problem of non-payment of salaries, and it is unacceptable.
?They are really suffering and no one can force a person to work on an empty stomach. But they did not tell me about their intention not to go back to school,? said Kapi.
Kapi said that Ondao Mobile Schools would suffer a lot if the teachers do not go back to their classes.
Teachers of the Ondao Mobile School are exposed to very harsh living conditions, such as lack of toilets, accommodation, electricity and water at the schools. They sleep in tents.