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Teachers pressure government on promotions

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By Rebecca Chimjeka:

Secondary school teachers who are holders of Master’s Degrees in Education have petitioned Education, Science and Technology Ministry seeking promotions.

The teachers, who are from all the country’s six education divisions, want the government to promote them to Grade TF/P5 salary segment regardless of years of service.

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In a petition which The Daily Times has seen, the teachers also argue that Master of Education degree qualifications for secondary school teachers should be recognised as is the case with other sectors of the education system.

“We write to request for promotions with regard to our current level of qualification. We are teachers who are currently teaching in the various secondary schools under the six Education Divisions across Malawi and are holders of Master’s Degrees in Education with various specialisations. Despite our acquiring these qualifications, it is unfortunate to note that the secondary education subsector gives no room for promotion of employees with superior qualifications,” the petition reads.

The teachers say it makes no sense for an education system to limit qualifications of its employees at any level.

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The teachers have since asked the ministry to consider reviewing limiting the qualification level required for secondary school teachers to a Bachelor’s degree.

“We see the policy to be retrogressive for our education system which is still in its early stages of growth. Teachers who have advanced to hold Master of Education degrees should be recognised by being promoted to the Grade TF/P5 salary segment regardless of years of service,” the petition adds.

However, the ministry’s principal secretary, Justin Saidi, said teachers are promoted depending on the available vacancies.

“Teachers are promoted depending on the available vacancies, government officers that acquire qualifications as such are given two notches increase which it is incremental credit,” Saidi said.

Civil Society Education Coalition Executive Director, Benedicto Kondowe, said what is happening in the ministry can demotivate the teachers.

“This will actually create resentment among teachers and it is not good for the country in as far as achievement of quality education is concerned. If the country would like to make progress, we must encourage teachers to upgrade and acquire higher education. Let the teachers get what they deserve,” Kondowe said.

He has since called on the government to have policies that are in line with the current situation.

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