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Maneb accused of exploiting teachers

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Teachers that were hired to invigilate this year’s Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations have accused Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) for exploiting them.

The teachers have also blamed government for planning to administer national examinations from their pockets, describing it as a “pedestrian” way of planning which has added to their endless problems as they spent a significant portion of their salary on invigilation.

The teachers have threatened to boycott marking of the MSCE examinations until invigilation allowances are paid and they have asked for Teacher’s Union of Malawi’s (Tum) support on their decision and that Tum should make an announcement by Monday August 1, 2016.

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“Invigilation of examinations, just like any field of work in any government, requires that officers be given allowances in advance to make their lives in the field easier. Maneb told us that allowances couldn’t be paid at the commencement of MSCE examinations because it was not funded yet,” reads part of the letter dated July 28, 2016 which the concerned unpaid teachers addressed to Tum President and copied to Maneb Executive Director.

It further says the teachers expected to be paid during invigilation but they have not been paid up to date and there has been no communication ever since.

“It sounds very untrue that Maneb is not funded when the same parastatal has just paid Junior Certificate of Education examinations markers handsomely, an exercise which came after invigilation of MSCE,” reads the letter.

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Secretary General for Tum, Dennis Kalekeni, said his office is aware of the issue and it has been in contact with Maneb and Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) to resolve the issue.

“As usual, they have told us that there is no funding yet… It is very unfortunate that Maneb hires these teachers directly without involving us and when things go wrong, issues come to us. Maneb needs to learn to treat teachers with respect because they sacrifice their time and resources to invigilate these exams,” he said.

MoEST spokesperson, Manfred Ndovi, confirmed that the ministry is involved in resolving the matter.

“Funding for July has delayed and this includes Maneb funding. We have written a letter to Treasury to fast-track Maneb funding in order for it to solve the current teacher payment woes,” he said.

Ndovi observed that this is not a new issue as every year teachers are always complaining of the same and Maneb is supposed to be planning to have the allowances in advance.

But Maneb spokesperson, Simeon Maganga, said since the teachers have decided to involve Tum, then Tum is better placed to comment.

Teachers who were hired to invigilate but spent a night at home were supposed to receive K8,000 per day for 12 days, those that spent a night away from home were supposed to get K20,000 per day for 16 days.

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