While teachers in the country have resumed their duties following official communication from Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) to call off the strike, some teachers in Mzuzu City are caught in the wave of doubt whether the strike is really called off or not.
A visit to Lunyangwa and St Peter’s Primary Schools in the city on Monday revealed that although teachers had reported for work, they were in a dilemma whether the calling off of the strike was official or not.
“When the strike was starting, we received a letter asking us to adhere to the strike. We are not sure whether to believe information from the radio that the strike is off because in the past, there have been cases of people making similar calls which were later disputed,” said one teacher who asked for anonymity.
However, a visit at Katoto and Masasa primary schools revealed that business was normal as all teachers had reported for duty and classes were underway.
“I did not have a problem. Teachers here resumed work because we all trust the medium that TUM used to communicate to us. We cannot expect them to use letters all the time because there are better and faster means of communication which I believe the TUM president can use,” said Ollens Msonda, head teacher for Katoto Primary School.
Msonda further said there was no need for teachers to doubt the communication since it came directly from TUM and could be traced back to them.
“I urge fellow teachers to take the remaining weeks for the term seriously so that the learners can catch up on the lost weeks’ work,” he said.
Teachers Union of Malawi on Friday, 16th June, 2017, officially called off the two-week long national wide strike after government had successfully resolved their grievances over the unpaid dues.
“The strike called by Teachers Union of Malawi which commenced on 5th June, 2017 is hereby called off with immediate effect and that all teachers should commence their normal duties on Monday, 19th June,” reads part of a statement issued by TUM which was signed by Willie Malimba and Charles Kumchenga TUM President and Secretary General respectively.
Earlier this month, TUM called upon all teachers in the country to stay away from work in solidarity calling for payment of last year’s arrears for primary school teachers which government still owed them.