Over 90 teachers who were expected to start marking Malawi Junior Certificate examination at Chilema Centre in the eastern city of Zomba on Monday, boycotted the exercise due to meagre allowance.
The teachers have vowed to resume marking once Malawi National Examinations Board (MANEB) increases their allowance from K12.70 per paper to K25.00 per paper.
One of the teachers marking Geography told Nyasa Times that MANEB hired them without disclosing the amount to be given to them only to realize later they will only get away with about MK 15,000 after the two week exercise.
“We thought this is unreasonable considering how expensive the cost of living is. We agreed MANEB should at least double that mount so that we should go home with about K30 000 or more after the two week’s job,” said the teacher.
The teacher says the strike which was started with teachers marking Geography, has been joined by several other teachers like those who are marking English.
However, during the meeting held Tuesday at Chilema with the concerned teachers, Director for Education at MANEB a Mr Mutala told the boycotting teachers the exams body cannot increase the allowance and if anything they should just pack and go back home.
Meanwhile, the teachers have resolved to return home and are waiting the transport refunds from MANEB.
Speaking to Nyasa Times in an interview, spokesperson for MANEB Simeon Maganga concurred with Mutala saying there is no way MANEB could do because it’s an issue to do with their budget.
“So those who can love to be marking at the K12 rate paper can continue but those who can’t are free to go home after all we had a large a number of teachers who were invited to mark the exams this year,” said Maganga.
He said it is surprising that the teachers have started to boycott this time around while in their invitation letters the rate was clearly indicated.