Angry parents in Nsanje, the border district in the southern region of Malawi, on Tuesday threatened to go to the street because of Government’s failure to pay salary arrears to over 500 primary school teachers in the district.
The concerned teachers stopped going into classes early this month, and expressed fears that the development was denying their students access to education.
Angry parents from one of the education zones of Nyamadzere wrote a strong-worded letter, in which they queried Government’s delay to pay the said teachers.
Information sourced by Maravi Post, reveals that the teachers were omitted on last year’s April pay roll. It has also immerged that some Initial Primary Teachers Education 8 (IPTE 8) and Open Distance Learning (ODL 3) teachers in the districts are yet to get their nine months’ salary arrears.
The letter dated May 13, 2017, calls upon all concerned parents in Nyamadzere Education Zone, to take part in the demonstrations.
“As parents, we will take to the streets to force Government to hear the cry of the teachers; enough is enough. We see lack of Government’s commitment to promote education in the Lower Shire districts,” reads the letter.
According to one of the signatories of the letter, John Moffolo, who is also a parent to one of the affected pupils, the parents fear for the future of their children, especially the girls because such circumstances can force them to marry early.
Also, commenting on the same, a Nsanje women’s rights organization, Kuchene Women Forum, committed to support the arranged street demonstrations. She said the teachers’ standoff is negatively impacting the students, whose right to education is being violated.
Mary Namalomba, who serves as the Education Coordinator for Kuchene Women Forum, said in an interview on Monday, her organization is more than willing to participate in the demonstrations; that they are equally angry with Government’s dilly-dallying on the issue of teachers’ salary arrears.
Nsanje District Commissioner (DC), Gift Rapozo expressed ignorance on the planned demonstrations as he assured the parents and teachers that Government will pay the salary arrears at the end of this month.
“There is nothing we can do, other than going by what we have agreed with responsible authorities. The Auditor-General has certified for payment of salary arrears,” said Rapozo.