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Teachers defy government, as strike continues

Teachers have defied government’s directive to resume teaching in all public learning institutions.

The Ministry of Education called on all teachers and Lecturers in Public Primary and Secondary Schools and Teachers’ Training Colleges to resume work today(Monday).

Teachers have been on a nationwide strike, demanding the provision of risk allowances.

In a statement, the Ministry of Education disclosed that following 2 meetings that they had with the Teachers Union of Malawi-TUM, they amicably resolved all issues raised by TUM that fall under the remit of the Ministry.

Spotchecks by Capital FM to various secondary and primary schools have however found that as of today teachers were not teaching as per the education authorities’ directive.

In some secondary schools, only those in lower classes such as form 1 are getting lessons through trainee teachers.

A student at Zingwangwa Secondary School expressed her worry over the continued strike arguing it is going to negatively affect students, especially those in examination classes.

“We are aren’t learning some teachers are showing up and then leaving and so I don’t know if we are going to learn today, and I feel very bad because they are telling us to pay the JCE(Junior Certificate of Education) fees and we haven’t event even started learning, not even the first page and they want to write the JCE,”  explained a form 2 student at Zingwangwa secondary school.

The ministry has since ordered all head teachers to maintain teachers’ attendance registers for inspection.

“The Ministry would like to request all Education Division Managers (EDMs), Directors of Education, Youth and Sports (DEYS) and District Education Managers (DEMs) in Councils, and Head Teachers to ensure that learning commences in earnest on Monday, 1st March, 2021. In this regard, all Head Teachers are requested to maintain Teachers’ attendance registers for inspection, “ reads part of the statement.

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Ironically the teachers have shown that they are unmoved by the warning about the DEMs recording those boycotting duties.

The TUM has since declared that the strike will continue, until the government addresses the risk allowance issue.

The teachers also demanded provision of Personal Protective Equipment-PPE’s and recruitment of IPTE 13 and 14 teachers, of which the government has managed to address.

Speaking to Capital FM President of TUM Willie Malimba has insisted that classes will resume when the government shows commitment to provide them with risk allowances.

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