A survey by Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) in urban Malawi has revealed that most teachers are surviving on loan sharks, vernacularly referred to as Katapila, to cope with the country’s extortionate costs of living.
With loan sharking a money lender charged exorbitant rates of interest, typically illegal.
CSEC executive director Benedict Kondowe told a research dissemination workshop in the capital Lilongwe Monday that “salaries which teachers receive are not enough.”
Said Kondowe: “In order to make ends meet, teachers have devised coping strategies which include farming, loan sharks and small scale businesses.”
On average for instance, the survey revealed, most teachers in primary schools are paid as little as K46 824.00 per month which includes a monthly hardship allowance for about 83 per cent of the teachers.
But according to the urban basic needs basket computed by Centre for Social Concern (CFSC), a family of six needs around K120 000 per month.
“It means our teachers have a K76 000 deficit every month,” bemoaned Kondowe.
He said the research findings have been submitted to the Ministry of Education for appropriate action.
There is, presently, a general outcry on dwindling standards of education in the country, especially urban primary schools.
Commentators have blamed the phenomenon on lack of motivational incentives for the teachers who indulge in other escapades to eke out a living.
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