MASERU — Machabeng College has established a special taskforce to deal with the salary disparities between local and expatriate teachers.
Headmaster Bruce Gilbert said the school board established the task team after local teachers raised complaints about the differences between their salaries and those of expatriate teachers.
Gilbert said the school was aware that some of the local teachers had raised the same concerns in a letter to the Ministry of Education.
The disparities, Gilbert said, are causing “some discomfort” among staff at the college.
“The board has recognised the problem and is committed to resolving it,” he said in an interview with the Lesotho Times on Tuesday.
“This is a fundamental concern. It’s only fair that when you have the same qualification you earn the same salaries.”
The team is expected to present its findings to the school board sometime next month.
“It could be soon after Easter or at the end of the month,” Gilbert said.
Teachers who spoke to this paper this week said there was tension at the college over salaries.
They described relations between the local and expatriate staff as “strained”.
There was speculation last week that some expatriates could be leaving the school because of sour relations between locals and expatriates.
The speculation was triggered by a vacancies advert the school posted in local newspapers this week.
The school invited applications for Mathematics, History, Geography, English, French, Business Studies teachers.
It did not specify the number of vacancies available but gave room for applications for subjects it described only as “others”.
That, one teacher said, is an indication that the school is not sure how many expatriate teachers will leave the school in August when the school’s year begins.
Gilbert however said there was nothing peculiar about the number of vacancies available.
He said only eight teachers out a staff complement of 55 are leaving in August. Just over a third of the teachers at the college are expatriates.
Gilbert said there was nothing alarming about the staff turnover.
“That is the nature of international schools. Last year six teachers left and the year before the number was almost the same,” Gilbert said.
“Such a turnover is therefore normal for an international school. International teachers normally spend between two and five years at a school.”
He however said it was possible that some of those teachers could be leaving because they are uncomfortable with the atmosphere at the college.