Malawi’s renowned lawyer and former Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara has slammed primary school teachers for allowing pupils to go to the streets protesting against teachers’ delayed salaries.
More than 1,000 teachers went on strike Monday after their salaries were not paid. This is one of a series of strikes by teachers. Malawi’s education ministry said at least 6,600 teachers have not been paid since May.
The pupils were angry at government for the continued delays in paying their teachers’ salaries.
About 500 schoolchildren broke classroom windows and damaged cars to protest a strike by their teachers in Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre, on Wednesday.
The students, aged between six and 12, smashed at least 40 cars, according to police. The damaged vehicles, which included an Axa Bus registration Axa 17, were parked at Manase Police Unit and Blantyre Police Station.
“We’re not learning,” the pupils chanted in the local Chichewa language as they blocked one of the city’s main roads with rocks and tree branches.
Commenting on the development, Kasambara said in as much as school children have a right to demonstrate, they have no right to abandon school premises and go on to the streets.
“Here teachers and headteachers are squarely to blame. if any child is hit by a car or indeed anything happens to him or her outside school premises parents will sue both the teachers, headteachers and owners of school ( and in this case the very same government they are demonstrating against),” said Kasambara.
He advised teachers to always send pupils to the respective homes should they want to demonstrate.
“Should kids want to demonstrate, send them back to their homes. Let them demonstrate whilst coming from their parents/guardians homes.
“What future leaders are we raising or taming in our homes? There are so many organised and civilised ways of demonstrating against government,” said Kasambara.
Meanwhile, some teachers have received their perks.
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology blamed the delays on the decentralised paying system, which government has just introduced.
The new payment system affected six districts including Nsanje, Chitipa, Chiradzulu, Mulanje, Blantyre Urban and Ntchisi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :