Teachers in Lilongwe urban and rural East and West will on Friday march in protest against the Ministry of Education Science and Technology for failing remit salary deductions to money lending institutions making the teachers unable to access loans.
The teachers through their Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) have already alerted Lilongwe district commissioner and Lilongwe City Chef Executive officer, the police and the Ministry of Education.
TUM secretary general Dennis Kalekeni said in an interview with Nyasa Times that they will deliver a 10-complaint petition to the Ministry of Education headquarters in Lilongwe.
Kalekeni said they will give the ministry an ultimatum that should they fail to act on the petitions within that period, TUM will call for national wide strike by teachers thus abandoning classes.
Among the issues in the petition include the ministry’s failure to remit teachers’ monthly deductions to money lending institutions making the teachers fail to access loans; to increase leave grant and hardship allowance.
“Teachers do not have the opportunity to access loans in government. They form their own Saccos and contribute every month so that they can get loans. The ministry deducts from their salaries to remit to the Saccos and other lending institutions but the Ministry is not remitting that money. Teachers are failing to take loans. Where is the money going? Why do people always want to make the life of a teacher so miserable?” fumed Kalekeni.
He said the hardship allowance which is at K500 is too little to match the cost of living. He also said the hardship allowance should apply to all teachers and not just those in rural areas.
“The Friday march involves teachers in Lilongwe Urban and Lilongwe Rural East and West. We are simply going to present our petition. Should the Ministry fail to act on the petition within the period we are giving them, we shall call for a national wide strike by teachers. There will be no classes,” said Kalekeni.
The Ministry of Education spokesperson Rebecca Phwitiko said the ministry was aware of the coming petition.