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Government yet to recruit 10,000 teachers

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Teachers Union of Malawi (Tum) has lamented the government’s delays to recruit 10,000-plus teachers it trained.

Tum Secretary-General (SG) Charles Kumchenga said the teachers, who are from various cohorts, have been kept in suspense for a long time.

He said this in Lilongwe on Saturday, when the union held its 24th annual general congress (AGC).

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“Even though the government has attempted to employ some teachers, the numbers that have been taken on board do not match the number of those that have been trained in teachers’ training colleges.

“Of course, we commend the government for recruiting primary and secondary school teachers but we see that the numbers are small.

“As such, we continue to ask the government to reconsider that one [issue]. We have teachers from Initial Primary Teacher Education (IPTE) 13 to 16; roughly, we have about 10,000 teachers who are waiting for recruitment,” he said.

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Kumchenga also urged government officials who are conducting interviews for teachers in district councils to extend the exercise to urban councils, citing Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.

“We cannot afford to alienate some teachers in the process,” he said.

The Tum SG also called on the government to pay teachers arrears it owes them.

Education Deputy Minister Monica Chang’anamuno said the government was committed to improving the welfare of teachers and motivating them at work.

She said, as such, a functional review has been commissioned to open up spaces and allow for upward movement of teachers through promotional interviews at local councils.

“Despite challenges, the government has, through my ministry, promoted 693 teachers to Grade TJ and 576 teachers to Grade TI. In addition, 182 special needs teachers were promoted, out of which 90 were promoted to grade J and 92 to Grade I,” she said.

Chang’anamuno added that, so far, they have recruited 317 teachers in grade J and 1,016 teachers in grade I as a way of ensuring a standardised teacher-student ratio for quality learning and reduced workload for teachers.

She further indicated that preliminary preparations for the establishment of Teachers Council are over and that the council would start operations before the end of 2022.

The council will be promoting adherence to ethics and professionalism in the teaching profession.

The teachers’ 24th AGC was held under the theme ‘Tum Makes Me Strong, Resilient and Purpose Driven’.

New leaders were voted into office, with Kumchenga retaining his position.

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