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BY ELIAS NANAU
Education Department staff have been challenged to be punctual for work starting at 7.45am and finishing at 4.06pm.
Former minister Joseph Yopyyopy was frank and honest to them yesterday when he handed his ministry to incumbent Jimmy Uguro.
A timely reminder just at the first week of a brand new year.
Mr Yopyyopy says that during his 18 months as the education minister based out at the Fincorp Haus, he first noted department staff dragging themselves to work and clocking off early.
“You are paid as public servants to work from 7.45am to 4.06pm,” he said. “Please do not steal,”
He said: “When I say don’t steal….you steal when you don’t come on time…stealing the government’s money by not committing your time. Work faithfully and let’s change the department for the better.”
Mr Yopyyopy had noted though that there was change in staff attitude to work when they saw him parking his car at 8am and finishing off at 4.06pm and they did the same.
“Please continue to do that.” He has appealed to the new minister to review the department structure as this was one of his policy moves.
“We have over 1000 staff in the department…there’s duplication of work.”
A review team commenced work early last year and they would put together a recommendation.
“To save money, save cost to get people who work effectively we need to review the entire department,” Yopyyopy said.
Appearing very passionate about education, Mr Yopyyopy said if we talk about taking back PNG, education was the way to go.
“If you want to change the country, educate the population. We need to concentrate on improving the quality of education.
“Whatever we implement we need to see it through,” he said to new Education Minister Jimmy Uguro.
Mr Uguro said he has a big shopping list but will start from where the former minister has left off. A former teacher, his focus will be to implement the Marape government’s vision to make education accessible to rural areas.
He would also look at reviewing the education payroll system which is a monster and they cannot filter easily.
“We will not let this country down,” Mr Uguro said.
“I will do what I can do.”