By Confidente Reporter
TEACHERS at the Hochland Christian Academy in Windhoek have revealed that they have been forced to do domestic work to survive over the past five months, after either not being paid or receiving their wages in a piecemeal fashion. The teachers claim that they feel degraded, because despite being professionals, they are now washing, ironing and cleaning people’s houses, in order to survive.
They told Confidente this week they are only being paid piecemeal, when parents bring their monthly tuition fees to the school, but also alleged that most of the money is being used by the owners of the academy.
In some cases, when one parent pays the N$1 800 per month tuition fee for the child, the six teachers are then given N$200 each, they said.
This is the second time in the past 18 months that the private school, owned by pastors William and Joan Louw, has allegedly failed to pay salaries on a monthly basis.
Speaking under condition of anonymity, the teachers said that there were only six of them left, as three other educators had resigned, and that they tutor 45 learners, who are currently enrolled.
It is also understood that the teachers have been paid sums ranging between N$200 and N$2 000 during a given month, which they say is not enough to cater for their transport needs, let alone pay for their rent and groceries.
According to some of the teachers, who are mostly foreign nationals, they are battling to survive, and make ends meet.
“Once parents pay the money for fees, the owners of the school mostly take the money for their personal use. Teachers are now forced to do odd jobs, like washing, ironing and cleaning people’s houses, in order to survive. It’s very degrading and frustrating, as professionals, to be reduced to doing such menial jobs,” the disgruntled teachers said.
When contacted for comment on Tuesday, Pastor William Louw denied failing to pay all his employees on a regular basis. He, however, admitted that the school was experiencing cash flow problems.
“It is not for the past five months; they are exaggerating. As far as I remember, only one teacher has not been paid for three months, and there is reason for that, which is cash flow. The rest are being paid. I don’t know why they are lying. They are being paid as money comes in. I speak under correction though,” he said.
In 2015, when the school failed to pay its teachers’ salaries regularly, it blamed the government for not paying subsidies timeously.
In February, the Education, Arts and Culture Minister, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, said government is considering a review of the subsidies paid for disadvantaged learners, who are attending private schools.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015