Long Lines queued up outside the Central Abaco Primary School

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Bahamas Press is now reporting extremely long long lines in Polling Division 9 of the Murphy Town. More than 4,500 voters in the North Abaco bye-election are expected to cast ballots today in the run-off.

Long lines are now showing up at polling centres in North Abaco. Bahamas Press is now at a school in Polling division 9 in Murphy Town where eager voters are queued up to mark their "X". PLPs sitting outside at voters stroll in.

1 COMMENT

  1. Former Teachers of Faith Temple Christian Academy Left
    in The Cold, And Not Yet Fully Paid
    After Its High School Division Shut down!

    Former Teachers of Faith Temple Christian Academy (FTCA), have been left in the cold, and have not been fully compensated by the school since the closure of the high school division in June 2012. This is despite the school MOVING ON with its Primary School Division but still receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, in government grants:

    FTCA receives an annual Government Grant of almost four hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($450,000.00), which was cut by about $100,000.00 for this new school year due to the closure of their High School division, and to date FTCA receives approximately three hundred and thirty thousand dollars ($330,000.00) annually.

    The Government Grant is a Grant-in-Aid, where a portion of these funds
    (along with school fees) are to be used for the payment of teachers’ salaries.
    Such grants are paid to many Independent (Private) schools on a monthly basis, including FTCA.

    However, despite the School’s Board and Administration making many (broken) verbal and written promises to the teachers (since June 2012) promising that, these teachers would be fully compensated in a timely manner, the same has not been done to date.

    The teachers have not yet been paid their August salaries nor their redundancy payments. Such teachers recently received their final installment of their July’s salaries just a few weeks back, while having received the last installment of their June’s salary a few weeks prior, due to the teachers’ persistency.

    These teachers have been turned around and around by the school, for weeks and even months on end. Is it because these teachers have no Union Representation, and/or that they have to ‘fend for themselves? Or is it that they have not yet made a public outcry?

    The Government Refuses To Intervene, Despite the School Receiving Hundreds of Thousands in Annual Government Grant.

    The teachers have made complaints to The Labour Board, and written and verbal complaints having also been made to The Minister of Labour, the Hon.Mr. Shane Gibson, The Minister of Education, the Hon Jerome Fritzgerald, and also the Minister of State for Finance, the Hon. Michael Halkitis calling on them to immediately intervene, while also requesting an urgent meeting with the said Ministers.

    Shockingly to no avail, as not one of these Ministers or Ministries have intervened in this FTCA debacle. The aforesaid Ministers have refused to set up an appointment for such teachers of FTCA, despite the many complaints made to the Ministers, verbally (by telephone calls), by letters, emails, through their Permanent Secretaries, and their other Secretaries.

    Since FTCA receives annual Government Grants of hundreds of thousands of dollars, it is the responsibility of The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance to oversee and ensure that these funds are indeed being used for the purposed in which such grants were given.

    Yet, the Government refuses to intervene in this matter, and has failed to ensure
    that these teachers are paid what they are entitled to. Rather, The Government has been quiet:

    The Government (present and past Administrations), and relevant Ministries (Ministries of Education and Finance) are also Liable, and MUST also be held accountable for this FTCA debacle, due to their Negligence, in failing to ensure that the aforesaid Grants were used for the purpose in which it was given.

    What is truly sad, is that; just like us, these teachers also have many responsibilities, like:

    i) Families to feed and take care off.
    ii) Extremely high electricity (BEC) bills, but with
    constant disconnections, due to the inability to pay
    BEC’s extremely high mortgage-like rates.
    iii) Inability to purchase various school supplies…like text books.
    iv) Children in College/University.
    v) The Inability to meet or make their mortgage payments.
    vi) Banks and other Financial Institutions threatening fore-closure on their homes, properties and other possessions.
    vii) Outstanding bank and other loan(s) arrears.
    viii) And other responsibilities.

    Some of these teachers have had to go back to their homeland empty handed, and with a few of them also having to go to our Family Islands to teach.

    It’s Now Time For The Government & Relevant Ministries to Intervene!

    In a recent ZNS coverage a few weeks back, it was reported that the High School Division of FTCA would be closing. This was only weeks before the opening of the new school year.

    In the interview one of the School’s officials stated that the school was six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000.00) in debt. But the question is how and when?

    Minister Fitzgerald also spoke in that interview, BUT not one of them mentioned that these teachers were not yet fully compensated, or the difficulty of FTCA to pay these teachers. This is not right and indeed ungodly!!!

    I therefore….now publicly call on the Ministry of Education, The Ministry of Finance, and The Ministry of Labour to immediately intervene in this very serious matter, and to;

    (1) Ensure that these former teachers of FTCA are paid ALL they are entitled to.

    (2) To implement and carryout various checks and balances to ensure that the Government Grants (Tax Payers monies), given to FTCA (and other schools and Institutions) are indeed being used for the purpose in which it was granted and designed for, as required by law.

    Such requests are only Godly, just and the right thing to do.

    WHICH SCHOOL IS NEXT?

    Since FTCA High School has met its demise, we must ask,
    the question …………which school is next?

    And can it also be that the Primary School Division of FTCA is next?
    As two other teachers have left (apparently due to non payment of salary)
    with another of the FTCA’s staff having been let go!

    What is going on…and how could this be allowed?

    The Ministries of Education and Finance, apparently, are ‘asleep at the wheel’, not ensuring transparency or accountability, from these Private Schools and Institutions receiving such huge Government Grants (the people’s monies).

    BY THE WAY…………..

    WHERE ARE THESE MINISTERS…. WHEN OUR PEOPLE ARE HURTING?

    VERY CONCERNED

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