Mzuzu teachers stage sit-in, demand promotions

Hundreds of Primary School Teachers in Mzuzu have staged a sit-in asking the Teaching Service Commission to rectify anomalies in the promotion of Teachers.

The Teachers from more than 40 schools marched to the Mzuzu District Education Manager’s office to present their petition. They also staged a four-hour vigil but later dispersed vowing not to teach until the Commission attends to their grievances.

“I started teaching in 1996 yet am at the same PT4 grade. Yet some of the children I have taught are at PT3. Is that fair,” Sekani Gondwe, a teacher at Chiputula LEA School, said.

Vera Mbeya, who teaches standard four at Thandaza Primary School, and has been a teacher since 1996 had the same concerns as well.

The teachers claimed that the Commission is promoting Teachers with less than three years experience from PT4 to PT3 leaving those that have teaching for more than 10 to 20 years.

Teachers demo in Mzuzu
Teachers demo in Mzuzu

A PT4 teacher earns MK33,000 per month while a PT3 earns MK49,000.

Statistics from Mzuzu District indicate that of the 398 teachers who sat for interviews for upgrading to PT3 only 68 succeeded.

According to concerned Teachers from Chiputula LEA only two teachers out of 35 got promoted.

“Our own children who have just joined the profession through a programme called the Initial Primary Teacher Education (ITPE) have been promoted while some of us have been teaching for more than 20 years.

“How can we teach effectively if we are not motivated? This is the opposite of quality education,” reads part of the petition from concerned Teachers to the Commission.

While at St Augustine Primary School, the Commission only upgraded one Teacher out of 34.

“Before the interviews there was an indication that the Teachers who have been serving at the same grade for many years should be given priority. However, the Commission has considered them at all. This is a painful scenario,” they said in a petition to the commission dated May 31, 2013, copied to Mzuzu District Education Manager and the Teachers Union of Malawi.

Teaching Service Commission officials refused to comment when Nyasa Times called then saying they have not yet received the concerns from the disgruntled teachers.

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