Some teachers calling themselves “concerned teachers voice” say they are against the looming “second wave” of teachers stay away over Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) risk allowance.
The concerned teachers said this at a press conference they held Monday in the Capital, Lilongwe.
They have since urged fellow teachers across the country not to bow down to the wishes of their mother body–the Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM)–which is calling for the stay away.
However, TUM President Willie Malimba said he does “not know” concerned teachers voice, asking for more time to “investigate” the grouping.
TUM issued a statement last week calling for a “second wave” of teachers stay away if government does not honour an agreement with teachers over Covid-19 risk allowance by this coming Thursday.
Among other things, an agreement was reportedly reached that government would pay every teacher the equivalent of the amount of personal protective equipment (PPEs) each teacher was meant to receive in the larger national Covid-19 intervention program.
But the “concerned teachers voice” condemned the fresh call for teachers stay away, describing it as “destructive” and not a “priority” among teachers challenges in the country.
“We feel dialogue over this matter is the right solution. Otherwise teachers will have to continue with their normal duties. We already lost alot of time during the last stay away,” said Stafuel Chitukuta, chairperson of the grouping.
He added: “These stay aways are killing our children in public schools. It is our children who are being punished. And not government. We are saying no to the looming stay away. Teachers must shun it”.
Chitukuta further urged TUM to focus on what he called “long-term solutions” to problems affecting teachers in Malawi.
Among other things, he mentioned; promotion of teachers, salary adjustments and welfare of special needs teachers.
However, when contacted for his comment, TUM president Willie Malimba, who confirmed that the stay away is indeed on after Thursday, said he does “not know anything” about concerned teachers voice.
“Which concerned teachers are these? I need more time to find out about them. Otherwise the call for a fresh stay away is coming from the teachers themselves,” said Malimba.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :