Parents of primary school pupils in Nsanje who are currently being denied access to education due to disagreements between government and teachers over unpaid salary arrears have planned to take to the streets on Tuesday.
Angry parents from one of the Education Zones of Nyamadzere have written a strong worded letter in which they have questioned government’s delay to pay 481 teachers who were omitted on last year’s April pay roll and some IPTE 8 and ODL 3 teachers who are yet to get their nine months’ salary arrears.
The letter dated May 13, 2017 calls upon all concerned parents in Nyamadzere Education Zone to take part in the demonstrations.
“As parents, we will take to the streets in an attempt to force government to hear the cry of the teachers; enough is enough. We see lack of government’s commitment to promote education in the lower shire district,” reads the letter in part.
According to one of the signatories of the letter, John Moffolo who is also a parent to one of the affected pupils, the parents fear for the future of their children especially the girl child because such circumstances can force them to go into early marriages.
Also commenting on the same, a Nsanje women’s rights organization, Kuchene Women Forum committed their support to the arrangement saying the standoff is impacting negatively on the learners whose right to education is being violated.
Mary Namalomba Education Coordinator for Kuchene Women Forum in an interview on Monday said they are more than willing to participate in the demonstrations as they are equally angry with government’s dilly-dallying on the issue of teachers’ salary arrears.
Nsanje District Commissioner (DC), Gift Rapozo expressed ignorance on the planned demonstrations as he assured the parents and teachers that government will pay the salary arrears this month end.
“There is nothing we can do other than going by what we have agreed with responsible authorities. The Auditor General has certified for payment of salary arrears to the tune of K49, 598, 554, 59,” said Rapozo.