By Faith Kamtambe & Peter Kanjere:
Local Government Service Commission and Education, Science and Technology Ministry are reportedly struggling to shortlist teachers for interviews as the authorities are overwhelmed, having received about 60,000 applications for promotions.
Teachers Union of Malawi (Tum) Secretary General, Charles Kumchenga, Sunday said although the government is insisting that it is not struggling to promote the teachers, none has been promoted yet.
“In fact, we are meeting the ministry Monday[today] to get an update on how far they have gone with this issue. Issues of promotion take time as there are many processes. We are not satisfied with the progress on the issue. Before the promotions are done, there is shortlisting, sending invitations, attending interviews and selection,” Kumchenga said.
The increase in the number of applicants has reportedly halted the progress of the promotions.
The commission is responsible for shortlisting primary school teachers for promotion whereas the ministry handles promotions of secondary school teachers.
The demand for more promotions comes after the government decided to promote 14,000 teachers early this year out of 80,000.
However, Tum described the move as a mockery and wrote the ministry, asking the government to consider promoting additional teachers by the end of this month.
Kumchenga said the teachers have given the government up to March 30 2019 to promote 25,000 teachers in the primary school section and 15,000 teachers in secondary and teacher training colleges.
Tum has threatened that teachers would down tools if the deadline passes.
In a related development, Kumchenga said the government has reportedly rescinded its decision to leave out some lecturers who were not considered for promotions from teacher training colleges (TCCs).
“The government left out some lecturers saying their qualification is for secondary school and not TCC qualification. The teachers complained to us, asking that we should get an injunction. We took the matter to the government and they have rescinded the decision,” he said.
But the ministry’s principal secretary, Justin Saidi, last week Wednesday dismissed Tum’s claims on the issue of teachers promotions.
“It is not true that they are struggling. They are doing their normal work and the process is continuing. It is like a process with examinations where sometimes you need not to go out and say we have marked 10 subjects and we are remaining with four subjects,” he said.
“It is quite a good number that applied and we are now in the final stages of releasing whatever we have. At the moment, it is difficult to say how many but we are on course and, very shortly, expect the results. Short-listing people is a confidential matter.”