Teachers Union of Malawi has suspended a sit in strike after schoolchildren as young as seven years old protested in Malawi’s capital Wednesday, urging the government to address the concerns of their teachers
The children, from schools around the city, were protesting on their own, without being accompanied by police.
Clad in school uniforms, the students blocked roads, causing traffic jams as they chanted songs calling on the government to meet the teachers’ grievances.
TUM secretary general Dennis Kalekeni said union officials have seen letters that the Department of Human Resources has written all Grade K teachers who succesfully passed the Grade K interviews in 2013 but their promotions were put on hold.
“The government has promoted them and put them on non established positions until someone leaves that position.
Treasury has already released K103 million for their arrears.
Kalekeni also said TUM officials have seen evidence that Treasury has released money to Maneb for payment of Malawi School Certificate of Education examinations, saying both the arrears and invigilation fees would be paid starting September end.
He asked teachers to resume work and “give government the benefit of the doubt.”
He however warned if the government was merely bluffing and backtracks, the sit in would come back in full swing next month of October.
“[If] government plays dilly dallying, and thinks that the suspension of the strike can give them the audacity to fail to implement [teachers’ demands], the Teachers Union of Malawi shall have no choice but to revive the strike,” Kalekeni warned.
The teachers are pushing the government to pay back salaries owed to those who were promoted in 2013, and for the promotion of other teachers deserving of advancement.
Kalekeni also stressed a timeline for the union’s demands.
“We need to see that in the month end of September, teachers have been uploaded on the payroll for their arrears,” he said. “We want to see that by October, teachers have been [upgraded].”
Education Ministry spokesperson Manfred Ndovi said officials are committed to meeting the teachers’ demands by November.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :