Minister of Education, Science and Technology Dr Lucious Kanyumba is holding a series of meetings with teachers across the country to discuss how best the Ministry’s programmes and policies can promote the welfare of teachers.
The meetings, the first large scale high level interaction between teachers and senior management in the Ministry of Education will take the Education Minister to all six education divisions.
Speaking at Balaka Secondary School on the first day of his tour on Monday February 10, Kanyumba highlighted some positive programmes that the Ministry has introduced, including the Primary School Improvement Plan- PSIP which gives grants directly to schools, as well as the mass promotion of up to 16,000 teachers in public schools.
The Education Minister also touched on a number of contentious issues such as rural teacher allowance eligibility, delays in payment of teacher’s salaries, housing and others.
Teachers presented a number of challenges which the Minister promised would form part of the Ministry’s long term plan to address problems in teacher management.
He assured teachers that the Ministry would come up with a clear position on rural teacher allowance, which has been rocked by complaints of irregularities in the definition of eligibility.
Dr Kanyumba explained that the Ministry is pursuing decentralization of payments as a long term solution to congestion of payments at its headquarters, which is largely to blame for delayed salaries.
He said the Ministry is aware of housing problems, particularly in rural areas, saying the construction of additional houses through the Local Development Fund, a programme within the Education Sector Wide Approach Arrangement- ESWAP arrangement is an important initiative that is helping to address this problem.