The forthcoming Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations are set to face a major challenge as the Teachers Union of Malawi (Tum) has threatened that none of its members will invigilate the examinations.
The decision comes in line with the ongoing nationwide teachers’ strike that the union called for early this week aimed at forcing government to address teacher’s grievances.
Tum General Secretary Charles Kumchenga said Thursday teachers in the country are tired of the lip service, which barely translates into action, from government.
Kumchenga said the statement made by Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe in Parliament on Tuesday that Treasury is processing the payments does not change their position on the matter.
“We have had enough! Teachers have suffered enough and I want to stress that no teacher will invigilate or take part in MSCE examinations unless they have their dues settled. We are not backing down.
“After all, we, as Tum, have not received any official communication from government on the steps they are taking; we are only reading on social media that the minister touched on the matter and, as of now, we take it as any other political statement meant to cool off the situation,” Kumchenga said.
Thousands of learners across the country are from Thursday June 22, 2017 expected to sit for this year’s MSCE examinations, which traditionally run for over a month.
When asked to clarify on his statement in the National Assembly, Gondwe said by next week all teachers will have received their leave grants and any other type of arrears that treasury owes them.
“We have ordered the councils to issue payments to the teachers by next week and shortly we will be done with the issue,” said Gondwe, who did not reveal how much Treasury has remitted to the councils.
However, district commissioners have said they have not yet received the money.
The Ministry of Local Government yesterday said once the money is in the councils’ accounts, it would be given to the teachers along with June salaries.
“We have been communicating that the leave grants will be effected together with June salaries. Our agreement with the teachers was not that we will effect the leave grants now. However, what we are advising them (Tum leaders) is to crosscheck with respective district councils if they have received authority from the Treasury to start the process,” said Muhlabase Mughogho, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
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