A cry for better pay package in the civil service and amid hard economic situation aside, government failed to pay about 11 000 teachers their March salaries, 10 days into the month of April.
As of Wednesday, some teachers were still exploring alternatives to survive without a salary as Malawians are experiencing daily price increases of essential commodities and services following government’s decision to devalue and float the kwacha.
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology spokesperson Lindiwe Chide confirmed government failed to pay all employees in the ministry on time, attributing the delay to a computerised system that was taking too long to compile data.
But the Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) was not amused by government’s delay and explanation, arguing it is not only the month of March this has happened. TUM said the delays have happened many times before and by different administrations.
TUM secretary general Denis Kalekeni said in an interview about 11 000 teachers across the country were not yet paid as of yesterday, although the union’s findings at the Accountant General’s office showed that cheques were sent to all the respective cost centres.
Kalekeni said: “We know two to three days from now, all teachers would be paid. But our concern is, why always us? Government should be the last to contribute to poor delivery of education.
“How can a lowly paid teacher teach when their salary is delayed? Service delivery will not be of high quality if this continues because those affected will abandon work and look for alternatives to survive.”
But Chide assured that as of Wednesday, salaries had been sent to all the remaining cost centres, and depending on bank systems, it was going to take two or three days for everyone to get paid.
On March 31 2013, the Ministry of Education informed its staff that they were going to get their pay late because of two factors; the upgrading of IFMIS (Integrated Financial Management Information System) and loading of revised personal emoluments budget.