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No salaries for 390 teacher recruits

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By Mandy Pondani:

Benedicto Kondowe

Education, Science and Technology Ministry is yet to put on the payroll 390 teachers who were recruited in April 2019.

The majority of the teachers graduated from schools such as Mzuzu University and were deployed to community day secondary schools (CDSS) across the country.

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One of the teachers at Mtuzuzu CDSS, Jenda, in Mzimba District, Paul Kumwenda last week said life was tough for him as he has been unable to buy basics.

During the first two months, he said, he and colleagues survived on borrowed money, but now things have gone out of hand.

Kumwenda said the authorities had been asking them to sign G1 forms and submit their passport size photographs, all to no avail.

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“Reports indicate that the Education Ministry headquarters does not have our forms, and yet we submitted them to the Education Division Manager many times. We are just stranded with nothing to pay rentals with, among other necessities,” he said.

But Ministry of Education spokesperson Lindiwe Chide, in an e-mailed response, said the ministry had finished receiving the G1 forms from all education divisions for salary processing.

“Some of the recruits reported late to their duty stations and this has led to a delay in processing their forms so that salaries can be processed. But now headquarters has received all forms from divisions and they are being processed. So, they should start getting their salaries in July and subsequently their arrears,” Chide said.

Thomson Msiska, a teacher at Umodzi CDSS in Zomba Rural, said he was affected working without receiving a salary away from his home district, Karonga.

“It is demotivating. Need I say that a frustrated teacher cannot deliver effectively, thereby, affecting the quality of education in the end,” Msiska said.

The Daily Times has gathered that the teachers have given the government up to Friday to settle their dues, failing which they would take to the streets.

Mzuzu-based human rights activist Jackson Caesar Msiska said the government was violating the labour rights of the teachers.

Civil Society Education Coalition Executive Director, Benedicto Kondowe, shared Msiska’s views.

“We have been lobbying for the recruitment of teachers for quite some time. What we see is that the government does it at its own convenience, getting us even more worried when it fails to pay them. There is need for more political will,” he said.

Teachers Union of Malawi President, William Malimba, said they were following the with keen interest.

In January 2019, the government also promoted 14,000 teachers out of a total of 80,000.

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