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Community paying teachers in Nkhotakota

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Malawi government’s delay to post teachers to some primary schools in the country has hit people living at Chauma Island in Nkhotakota hard. The residents have since started contributing K500 per household to pay teachers to teach at Chauma Junior Primary School.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is yet to post permanent teachers to the school and pupils at the facility, which has classes up to Standard Six, spent the first weeks of the second term at home as was nobody to teach them, a situation that forced concerned parents to take the initiative.

Village Head Kayola said they held a meeting with the area’s Primary Education Adviser (PEA), Florence Phavabango, where they agreed to engage some teachers who are awaiting posting and that the community should be meeting the teachers’ wages.

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“We had two student teachers who were teaching at the school last term but now government is no longer paying them as they await posting. So, this term the teachers stopped teaching so we have engaged them on the agreement that we should be paying them K15,000 each since we cannot allow our children to be staying at home instead of being in school,” said Kayola.

Councillor for the area, Charles Kamija, confirmed the development, saying he is also helping the community in raising funds to pay the teachers.

“They wrote letters asking for well-wishers to help them with money to pay the teachers and I have submitted the letters to several companies,” said Kamija.

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When called to find out when government is expected to send permanent teachers to the school, Phavabango was reluctant to answer and cut the line. When called again on Wednesday she said she was in a meeting.

Acting Nkhotakota District Education Manager, Luke Mtekateka, said: “There cannot be education without teachers and teachers cannot teach without being paid; so, go and find out who is paying them.”

Situated in Nkhotakota North, Chauma Island is an isolated area with boat transport on Lake Malawi as the only way of accessing the area.

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