Government is yet to recruit about 14,310 teachers for both secondary and primary schools.
Following a statement made in Parliament Tuesday by Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje, our calculations show that out of the figure; 6,492 are from the various cohorts of the Initial Primary Teacher Education (IPTE) and 7,818 are qualified secondary school teachers.
NyaLonje was responding to a question from Member of Parliament (MP) for Mulanje West Constituency, George Chaponda, who wondered why the government is unable to recruit permanently about 6,900 auxiliary teachers and also consider those that remain jobless.
“It is a concern of our people that government continues to spend resources on teacher training when it cannot offer them employment,” Chaponda said.
In her response, NyaLonje said the Tonse Alliance government inherited a broken education system, which saw the government training 12,081 teachers from IPTEs 10, 11 and 12 but never offered them employment.
This, she said, created an irregularity that her ministry is endeavouring to correct.
“…between 2010 and 2019, government had trained 11,600 secondary school teachers, however during these nine years only 1,183 of these 11,600 secondary teachers was recruited,” Nyalonje explained.
She then disclosed that in the last two years Government has employed 2,599 trained and qualified secondary school teachers.
Nyalonje however said her ministry’s position is to recruit teachers continuously and takes responsibility to look for resources to support their hiring.
On the Ministry’s call for interviews instead of automatically employing the teachers it trains, Nyalonje said the ministry complies with a determination by the Ombudsman which indicated that automatic employment is unprocedural.
“I do not know how such a promise was made by previous governments but the Ombudsman’s order clearly states that was an anomaly and my Ministry is doing all it can to regularise employment and promotion of teachers,” she added.
Reacting to the issue in a separate interview, Executive Director for Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) Benedicto Khondowe said Malawi has to invest in teachers and empowerment of education personnel if it is to meet Sustainable Development Goal 4 which calls on countries to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.