A two-man team from the Ombudsman’s Office recently completed a one- week full circuit tour of Isabel Province from 2nd to the 12th of September 2022.

The tour which involved the Investigation and Research and Communication unit, was carried out purposely to visit Community High Schools (CHS) and Provincial Secondary Schools (PSS) around the Province. The visit was part of an ongoing provincial schools tour program of the office.

The team, headed by the Director of Investigation, Mr Aaron Kodo and Research and Communication, Public relations Officer Mr Patteson Tomu was a success after eight Community High Schools and two Provincial Secondary Schools spread throughout the province were visited.

The tour began with a courtesy call at the office of the Provincial Secretary (Ag) of Isabel province, Mr Rex Manase.

The first school the team visited was Lilika CHS, then to Kesao CHS in Kia. The team then visited Allardyce PSS, Muana CHS, Kalenga CHS, Sir Dudley Tuti PSS, Visena CHS, Guguha CHS, and lastly Jejevo and Barasile Community High Schools which were closer to the provincial centre at Buala.

As the tour involved schools within the province, an officer from the Isabel Education Authority also accompanied the touring team.

A lot of issues were raised by both students and teachers. Most of the issues highlighted were from teachers and these issues generally, for most school visited, were in relation to the teachers’ terms and conditions.

Most of the teachers expressed their appreciation to the team for taking time to visit them at their schools and to hear firsthand from them, certain issues that had affected them for so long. They expressly stated that the visit was timely and that only through such visits would teachers’ concerns and complaints be resolved by rightful authorities. They look forward to more of such visits in the future so that they can be kept updated on important information which they should know about.

By way of assurance, team leader Mr Kodo assured the teachers that a more holistic approach will be made to address teachers’ concerns as their issues appeared to be more systemic than an individual one. He also encouraged the teachers to continue to work closely with their education authority to address their immediate issues.

A total of 500 brochures, 200 Teacher employment grievances booklets and 20 copies of the 2020 and 2021 Ombudsman Annual Report were distributed to these schools for their further information about the Roles and Functions of the Ombudsman.