Thyolo teachers’ strike angers parents
Parents and guardians of about 10,000 pupils, who have not been attending classes in 12 schools in Thyolo due to an ongoing teachers’ strike, on Monday told the District Education Manager (Dem) to end sit-in by yesterday or face mass protests.
On Monday last week, the teachers within Chisawani Zone in the district suspended classes to force the District Education Office release their leave grants. Teachers from other zones, including Nansato, Khonjeni and Goliati have also withdrawn their labour over the same issue.
The parents, who gathered at Chisawani Teachers’ Development Centre on Monday, said they are not amused that their children are being denied access to education.
Chisawani Primary School Parents Teachers’ Association Chairperson Hussein Chiwalo said it is surprising that their children’s right to education is being affected by people who know the importance of education and are able to send their children to private schools.
“As parents, we feel the right to education of our kids is being injured, more especially by people who went to school, people who are able to send their children to private schools and that’s why we gathered here today to have a word from parents and other stakeholders on issues to do with our children’s education.
“We have requested our Dem to sort out issues between him and his teachers within three days with effect from Monday, until Thursday May 21. If he is not able to comply, we concerned parents, teachers who are also concerned, our pupils who are the main casualties, will go to present our petition to the District Commissioner (DC). If this will fail again, we are ready to take this issue directly to the Ministry of Education, including our beloved President Peter Mutharika,” Chiwalo said.
In an earlier interview, Acting Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Manfred Ndovi said there were some issues between the office of the DC and the Dem’s office which resulted in the delays but have been sorted out.
He said the teachers would receive their money from any day this week but the teachers have vowed that they will only go back to class after receiving their leave grants amounting to K48, 000.
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 April salaries.
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