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Graduate teachers plan demonstrations on recruitment

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About 5,500 graduate teachers from various teachers training institutions across the country will on April 13 hold national demonstrations against the government following its failure to recruit them.

The group, which comprises Initial Primary School Teachers Training Programme 10 and the fifth cohort of Open Distance Learning, has said it is disappointed with the manner in which the government is handling their matter.

Group leader Clement Mtumbuka said in an interview yesterday that the development is indicative of the government’s failure to improve education standards in the country and also reduce unemployment rate among young people.

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He said the decision to hold the protests comes following the blame game between the Ministry of Education (MoEST) and Ministry of Finance on why the process is being delayed.

But MoEST spokesperson, Lindiwe Chide, said: “They should exercise patience. We are processing everything; we cannot rush the process because it is them who will end up being victims in future.”

But Mtumbuka maintained that their patience has worn out.

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“We are tired of the politics surrounding our issue; so, we are taking to the streets to pour out our frustrations. We are wondering what kind of youth empowerment the government brags about,” Mtumbuka said.

After their final letter to MoEST in March this year, Chide was quoted as saying they had finalised drawing contracts for the group and was waiting for the Treasury’s assurance on availability of resources.

Jacob Munyimbiri, who attended classes at Dowa Teachers Training College, said it is surprising that the government spent millions of tax-payers’ money in training them, only to fail to recruit them.

“We have become a burden to our families. Needless to say that we are being denied the right to earn a living,” Munyimbiri said.

Education specialist, Steve Sharra, faulted the government, urging it to be specific when responding to issues.

He also backed the graduates, saying they have endured a lot of pain.

“The reality on the ground is that these people are suffering, just like the teachers in the service, mostly due to the big teacher-pupil ratio. For the economy to grow, we need a well-educated workforce. A well educated workforce needs quality education. Quality education requires adequate, well trained and motivated teachers,” Sharra said.

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