Learners from various primary schools in cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu , as well as districts of Nkhotakota, Balaka, Dedza, Mchinji and other parts of the country aged between five and 13, took to the streets protesting at the government’s delay in paying their teachers’ salaries for December 2019 so learning can resume.
Chanting “We’re not learning! We’re not learning!” in the local Chichewa language, the pupils stormed district education offices, regional education offices to express their anger of going to school only to be sent back home as teachers had abandoned chalk.
They are demanding that the government addresses the issue as soon as possible.
.At least 5 000 teachers , who constitute almost half of the 130 000 civil service workforce, have not yet received their December salaries.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology says the affected teachers did not provide details of their national identity (ID) cards on time.
The teachers are among thousands of other civil servants who did not get paid in December as they allegedly failed to submit the ID details which led to their removal from the payroll.
But Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Justin Saidi said the affected teachers would start getting their salaries by Tuesday.
Meanwhile, TUM secretary general Charles Kumchenga , has warned some head teachers who are stopping teachers joining the sit-in.
“There some head teachers who are forcing teachers to be working while others are on sit-in. TUM is going to demonstrate against head teachers,” Kumchenga said on Times Radio.
He said one of the head teachers forcing teachers to get back in class is in Likuni zone.