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We will not rescind our decision— Teachers Union of Malawi

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Teachers in the country have, through their mother body Teachers Union of Malawi (Tum), said they will not rescind their decision on continuing with the ongoing nationwide strike following government’s failure to pay 2016/17 leave grants.

The teachers embarked on the sit-in Monday and, according to Tum president Willie Malimba, the strike will not be cancelled until the government pays their dues.

“We have received numerous reports from various teachers that they have joined the strike. By Tuesday, I believe all primary schools will be on strike and we are not getting back to discussions,” Malimba said.

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Spot checks in various schools across the country Monday showed the strike had taken off.

At around 09:45 in the morning, learners at Makheta Primary School in Blantyre were on the school grounds playing.

Some teachers were seen basking in the sun instead of being in class.

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In Zomba, teachers have also downed their tools in an effort to influence government to meet its 2016/17 leave grants’ obligation.

Snap checks in primary schools such as Matiya, Police, Mponda and Chikamveka in Chinamwali, Zomba, also indicated that teachers had withdrawn their labour.

According to some learners, the teachers did not make any official communication on the strike.

Some head teachers The Daily Times talked to simply asked us to observe what was happening.

In Thyolo, a Tum representative, Limbani Malubiya, said they have an official letter from the union announcing the strike.

On Sunday, Malimba said it came to the union’s attention that government was arranging to pay the leave grants to secondary school teachers only, leaving out over 63,000 primary school teachers.

Acting spokesperson in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Lindiwe Chide said the ministry never imagined the issue would reach this extent as Tum was involved in all the processes.

Chide was not clear on what action the ministry would take to address the concerns of the teachers.

According to Chide, all names have been compiled and that leave grants are being processed by local councils.

She said the Treasury is planning to pay the remaining teachers this month.

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