Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe on Monday assured opposition legislatures that there has been a solution to pay teachers arrears and leave grants at a right time.
Gondwe said this in Parliament after opposition legislatures wondered why his ministry is failing to end the teachers strike by paying them their arrears and leave grants, while calling him an incompetent minister.
Salima North-West MP Jessie Kabwila (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) challenged Minister of Education Emmanuel Fabiano to resign if he did not have solutions to the teachers strike which has affected the learing in public primary and secondary school for a week now.
“We havebeen here for weeks yet students at Chancellor College are not in class and oupils are on the streets because teachers are not in class,” said Kabwila who is also an education activist.
Kabwila accused Fabiano of sleeping on the job and sitting on the problems.
However, Gondwe rescued Fabiano when he apologized to the legislatures for the delay and assured then that his ministry has managed to fast track the whole process.
“I am indeed incompetent this year but next year you will call me competent minister because teachers will be enjoying with this process,” said Gondwe.
Adding that “issues of teacher s strike due to arrears and leave grants occurs yearly in the country. This is because of the system that government was using to pay teachers, thus why we have decided to change it. And believe me or not, this problem will be over.”
The system involved transferring of funds from the central government to all district councils.
According to Gondwe, the new system will empower the District Commissioners to decide when and how to pay the teachers in good time.
Gondwe informed the House that Treasury has processed teachers’ leave grants for 21 districts out of 28 and that funds were supposed to be remitted by close of business son Monday.
Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) President Willie Malimba has vowed not go to classes till government address their grivenances..
Meanwhile, learners in public primay schools in Blantyre City, Ntcheu and Balaka took to the streets on Monday to protest against the teachers’ continued strike.
The learners blocked roads, including the M1 Road stretch between Chingeni in Balaka and Bawi in Ntcheu and some wew demanding money from passers-by and motorists apparently to pay the teachers’ leave grants and other outstanding grievances.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :