Markers want answers

By Gary Hatigeva

A number of school teachers involved in the marking of both primary and secondary exam papers for 2017 have raised concerns and frustrations over the delay in payments for what they refer to as ‘job done’.

Speaking on behalf of a group of unhappy markers, one of them who asked not to be named, during an interview yesterday, claimed that early this year, they (markers) were promised their payments following the completion of markings and should have been received by the end of last month.

The frustrated markers however told this paper that the initial payout promise was unfortunately delayed and pushed forward to early this month.

“Now we are well into April, ending the first quarter of this year, yet nothing has been forthcoming,” the marker added.

The three-time marker said what they are currently going through is also disheartening for most, having been kept waiting at a time when most of them have school fees and other responsibilities to take care of.

“Most, if not all, the markers are parents with school fees to pay and delaying their payments by over an uncalled for timeframe, when they had already prepared to have the money in good time is unfair.

“In the past we would wait for days without end for the payments, but with the new regulations and promise from the ministry through the National Examination and Standards Unit (NESU), we didn’t expect a delay,” the secondary exam marker explained.

The unhappy markers collectively urged the ministry to fast-track the payments, saying they have been patient long enough and want proper answers from the ministry.

“We have been promised by the director of NESU that last year would be different from the other years and that our payment should be processed before results will be released and that Ministry of Education has already secured money from AusAid for this annual activity, but till date, we have not received a single cent,” the group further claimed.

Referring to the status of the payment, the markers stressed that they are very confused, claiming that one group will be saying one thing, while the other will say something else.

“It is an unfortunate situation because if this issue continues to be dragged and not being dealt with, just imagine the amount of pressure it will have when they are carried forward to the next marking programmes, and maybe with sets of new markers?

“However, we can only hope it doesn’t, but again we call on the minister to also see that this issue is dealt with and those involved in causing the delays should also be dealt with appropriately,” the group shared.

Meanwhile, a follow up by this paper on the status of payment for the claims with the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, revealed that the Ministry of Education has not made any payment for the markers, which insiders from the Education Ministry have also confirmed.

Calls to speak to the Permanent Secretary and other responsible officials yesterday regarding the delays were unanswered, but official sources claimed that the PS had promised, they (markers) will be paid.

“Most of the teachers have been paid but some not. So we will see what happens when all ministerial programs and allocations are sorted out, and then the ministry should be able to decide the way forward.”

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