The Superintendent of the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS), Benjamin Jacobs, has revealed that instead of helping the Government of Liberia, the direct deposit of personnel salaries is hurting the system.
He said the direct deposit is posing numerous challenges for the system, as instituting punitive measures like pay cut for number of days lost on the job is impossible, as no one can halt the withdrawal of the salary of a personnel who did not work for the month or lost days. Jacobs made the disclosure Thursday at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing at the ministry on Capitol Hill in Monrovia. According to the MCSS boss, the direct deposit has also disenfranchised the entity, as it nearly has no control over employees, and promised to institute the needed measures to address this in the coming academic year. “We will endeavor to see that a control mechanism, whether to pay in check or issue some form of clearance before withdrawal is instituted by the start of academic 2016/17,” he stressed. The Direct Deposit of Civil Servants salaries were for the first time in the history of Liberia introduced by the Unity Party-led Government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Prior to this, civil servants were paid in checks. The direct deposit was part of measures to curtail payroll padding and existence of ‘ghost names’ on government payrolls. Reflecting on reforms in the system, Jacobs noted that the payroll cleaning has saved government of over US$700,000 and pledged to apply the same measure before the start of next academic year. He said as part of the reform at MCSS, the system is running morning, afternoon and evening shifts to accommodate more students as well as ensuring proper placement of students with the separation of the old and young ones. He also cited the successful abolishing of make-up and the reduction of the class size to a maximum of 50 students, as other reforms instituted at the MCSS. Meanwhile, the MCSS boss has alarmed that while the salaries of teachers may not be satisfactory, the Government of Liberia under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has remarkably improve`d the salaries from US$15 to an appreciable US$350 or its equivalent in Liberian dollars. He wants teachers to uphold the ethics of the teaching profession while meaningfully impacting the lives of the country’s future leaders.