The Malawi Government owes the Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (Teveta) over K20 billion in levies which have not been remitted the past few years.
Teveta says the debt is contributing to its financial problems.
Teveta management disclosed this when Minister of Labour Ken Kandodo and his deputy, Vera Kamtukule, met the authority’s management in Lilongwe Wednesday.
According to the Teveta Act, the government and the private sector are supposed to be contributing one percent each to the authority but the government has been failing to honour the requirement.
Teveta Executive Director, Wilson Nkhoma, said they are engaging the government to settle the debt.
“With the lobbying we are doing with our parent ministry [Ministry of Labour] and other stakeholders, we are likely to get that money. It may not be paid all at once, but we hope that it will be paid,” Nkhoma said.
Kandodo said his ministry would engage the Ministry of Finance to bail out Teveta from the financial woes.
However, the minister advised the authority’s management to not only rely on the levy, but come up with other income generating activities such as reviewing students’ fees.
Nkhoma said some students pay K15,000 for both tuition and boarding fees per semester.
He said the money does not meet the cost of buying all the learning materials and cover accommodation costs, therefore prompting Teveta to spend extra resources on the learners.
Kandodo acknowledged that the government has not been paying the required amount over the past years.
“In our discussion with the Vice-President [Saulos Chilima] when he we met Teveta, under the Public Sector Reform Programme, we agreed to find ways to settle the arrears because they are affecting the activities of Teveta,” Kandodo said.
He also advised Teveta to be careful when introducing new courses apparently because that would demand more resources from the authority, thereby dragging it into more financial problems.
Teveta was established in 1999 and has so far produced at least 42,000 graduates.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.