Primary school pupils in cat-and-mouse chase with police

Public primary school pupils in the districts of Balaka, Ntcheu and some parts of Blantyre on Monday caused havoc on the streets during their demonstrations against the closure of their schools following the ongoing teachers’ sit-in.

Both primary and secondary schools have been closed since last week due to the teachers strike over the delayed payment of leave grants and arrears.

As part of expressing their anger, pupils blocked roads in their areas while throwing stones to passing vehicles and in some cases demanding K1,000 to be used in paying their teachers’ leave grants.

However, in Blantyre and Balaka the police managed to disperse the learners from the street with teargas.

Ironically, things turned into violence between the protesters and police in Ntcheu district, as learners with support from their parents blocked the Blantyre-Lilongwe M1 road with heavy stones and trees while demanding money from the road users for paying teachers arrears and leave grants.

Ntcheu district police officer in charge John Nkhoma told The Maravi Post that each road user was paying K1000 to the protesters in order to pass the students’ ‘roadblock’.

However, police in all districts said no property was damaged in the fracas.

The Malawi Police has,however, arrested 9 students and 23 parents.

According to Nkhoma, all people arrested are currently in custody and are expected to appear before the court soon to answer the charge of causing breach of peace.

Meanwhile, the teachers strike is still continuing a development which has made some opposition legislatures to ask the minister of education to resign.

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