Government is failing to pay over K1.3 billion in arrears to primary school teachers it graduated in its various Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) last year under the Initial Primary School Teacher Education (IPTE) programme, Nyasa Times understands.
Some of the dillusioned teachers told Nyasa Times in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe that government is “insensitive” and taking too long to pay them off.
“Why is it that teachers are always the last on the list? We know government has the money and we need it.” said Anthony Karumbi, who claimed government is owing him about K100, 000 in arrears since January Nyasa Times.
He also accused government of using the ‘sacred cows’ principle when dealing with issues.
“When it’s MPs and ministers it [government] always works in haste. Why can’t it do the same for us? Are we less equal?” he wondered, threatening that they [teachers] will take an undisclosed action should government keep sitting on their issue.
Sources at the Ministry of Education (MoE) confirmed that 7 849 teachers have not yet been paid six months since they were added to government’s payroll in January this year.
MoE spokesperson Rabecca Phwitiko attributed the delay in processing the salaries hefty recruitments and logistical problems.
“Some of the teachers didn’t report for duty immediately after deployment and this has caused a further delay in the submission of the documents and the processing of the salaries,” Pwitiko told local radio.
Primary school teachers are some of the lowest paid civil servants. They form a good part of the country’s Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU). The Malawi government often pays them late without satisfactory explanations.