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Arabic instructors threaten demo again over unpaid allowances

Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development

Arabic Instructors in the country are threatening to embark on a nationwide demonstration to protest the non-payment of their allowances.

They say they will converge in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi next week to register their displeasure over the failure of the Ministry for Zongo and Inner Cities development to disburse their allowances to them.

They said they have had to depend on family members and some benevolent persons for financial support since their monies which have been in arrears for 17 months are yet to be given to them.

Secretary to the Arabic Instructors Association, Sheikh Abdul Salam in a Citi News interview said although they have been assured by the government that their allowances have been paid, they have not received it yet.

“There has been several announcements that government has released some money to the Zongo Ministry but we have still not received our allowances and we are very hungry. The two-year contract started on 5th January 2018 and in less than two months, it ends. We are very hungry. Sometimes we receive some help from family members and other benevolent persons, but when they hear the announcement that monies have been released, they might stop helping us,” he said.

“We the Arabic instructors also contributed immensely to the NPP’s victory in 2016. This demonstration will be nationwide, and Imams from all over the country will converge in Kumasi for the demonstration,” he added.

Sheikh Abdul Salam said the government should consider putting them on a regular government payroll after their arrears are settled.

This is not the first time the instructors are complaining about the non-payment of their allowances.

In July, over 900 Arabic tutors in the Northern Region threatened to embark on a  strike if the Ministry for Inner Cities and Zongo Development failed to begin paying their allowances.

But the sector Minister, Mustapha Hamid subsequently announced that the Finance Ministry had released funds to the Youth Employment Agency, to begin making payments to the tutors calmed tensions.

However, only three months of the eight-month arrears was paid.
The Arabic instructors’ engagement under the YEA, was a campaign promise of the governing New Patriotic Party.

President Nana Akufo-Addo while campaigning for 2016 elections, assured Arabic Teachers that he will restore their teaching allowance when he wins the December 7 polls.

Nana Akufo-Addo chided the then Mahama government for cancelling the monthly allowance, promising that he will ensure that there are funds to pay the instructors their allowances.

“When I am given the opportunity to serve the nation, I will reintroduce the allowances paid to Arabic tutors,” Akufo-Addo said at the time.

Source: CitiNewsroom

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