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Ministry promises centralised payment system for teachers

By Halshane Burke 

There are increasing calls for a centralised system of payment for public school teachers and the Ministry of Education has suggested it working to heed the call.

This is to prevent instances of deductions not being paid over to respective creditors, as has been the case with the St. Thomas-based Seaforth High School.

Teachers recently staged a sit-in to protest the failure of the school's administration to remit their salary deductions.

Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams admitted that the current system where there are different means of disbursing salaries to teachers can give rise to these types of issues. 

She told Radio Jamaica News that the ministry is investigating the matter, which she said could be considered misappropriation of funds. 

"We have to ensure that as a ministry we step in. It’s not their fault that it wasn’t properly sent to where it was supposed to go to, but it’s going to take better systems; it’s going to take better centralisation of the processing of payroll for us to begin to not see those situations in the future," said the minister. 

Mrs Williams said the ministry is quickly moving to establish this centralised system of payment.  

In August, the Education Minister sparked a firestorm among school bursars after she announced that the ministry plans to move away from bursar-paid schools to all teachers receiving their salaries directly from the ministry.