Teachers suspend classes over unpaid leave grants


About 10,000 pupils in 12 schools that fall under Chisawani Zone in Thyolo have not been attending classes since Monday after their teachers resorted to withdrawing labour over unpaid leave grants.

The National Local Government Finance Committee already disbursed the money for the leave grants to all district councils more than a month ago and teachers in other areas received their leave grants together with their last month’s salaries.

In total, there are about 270 teachers who have withdrawn labour and they are expected to receive K48, 000 each.


The teachers, who on Monday presented a petition to the office of District, Education Manager (Dem) have since vowed they will only go, back to class after receiving their leave grants for the past academic years.

Teachers of other zones in the district including Nansato, Goliati and Khonjeni are also in the same situation and have since threatened to join their Chisawani colleagues today.

It is also reported that teachers in some of the 16 education zones in the district received less than the expected K48, 000.


One of the striking teachers, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said when Teachers Union of Malawi (Tum) leaders within the zone presented the grievances, the district education officials used threats instead of addressing their concerns.

“We know that the money is already at the district council and it is surprising that they are failing to release what belongs to us. When our representatives went to meet officials at the district education office they were just told to wait and were warned that they will be transferred from their current schools if they continue fighting for the money.

“But we have made up our mind and we will start teaching after getting our leave grants. We are not children to be intimidated anyhow. And tomorrow [today], aggrieved fellow teachers from other zones will be joining us,” he said.

In an interview yesterday, Acting Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Education, Manfred Ndovi, said the ministry is aware that some teachers in four zones in Thyolo are yet to get their leave grants.

Ndovi said, according the reports that the ministry received, the problem is a result of some ‘issues’ between the council and Dem office.

“Yes we are aware of that problem. As we said the money was already released to the districts and the teachers received. However, for Thyolo, some teachers in about four zones are yet to receive their leave grants. The district education office could not access the money from the district council because there were some issues between them. But those issues have been sorted out and those teachers are expected to receive their money anytime from today. Possibly, next week,” Ndovi said.

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