The government has paid Sh52 billion it owed teachers as of November 2011, the minister for Education and Vocational Training Shukuru Kawambwa told journalists here yesterday.
According to Dr Kawambwa, the amount includes salaries and non-salary arrears which were approved by the government and Tanzania Teachers Union (TTU) in November 2011.
The minister was speaking during a press conference held at the Parliament grounds to clarify some issues regarding the 2013 Form Four national examination results.
He said, the government released Sh22 billion in January 2012 which was spent on paying non-salary dues to primary and secondary school teachers.
The minister noted that the government allocated more money in its 2012/2013 budget for clearing teachers’ arrears as approved in November 2011.
Dr Kawambwa said that currently the government and TTU were approving teachers’ arrears which were accumulated after the 2011 evaluation.
“There isn’t any teacher whom we owed before 2011 who hasn’t been paid arrears. If you know one, just tell him or her to contact me directly,” said the minister.
According to Dr Kawambwa, the government will clear all teachers’ arrears in this financial year. He said, under the Big Results Now (BRN) strategy, his ministry isn’t allowed to accumulate teachers’ arrears for more than three months.
Contacted for comment, TTU secretary general Ezekiah Oluoch said that the government owes teachers Sh61 billion which was accumulated after November 2011.
According to him, the Treasury has been paying between Sh2billion and Sh3 billion each month. “Under the current situation it will take more than 30 months for the government to clear the arrears while others will continue to accumulate,” said Mr Oluoch. Mr Oluoch said, there was a need for President Jakaya Kikwete to directed the Consolidated Fund to pay the teachers.
Meanwhile, Dr Kawambwa defended the performance by public schools in last year’s Form Four national examinations.
According to him, public schools have performed fairly considering the situation on the ground.
“If you look at a school like Marian Girls which is on top ten, you will realise it recruits only ‘the cream’ among Standard Seven leavers,” said Mr Kawambwa.