Teachers, who Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) says constitute close to 60 percent of the civil servants, are expected at their duty stations when schools reopen on Tuesday January 3 2012.
Government earlier gave a two-week break to all civil servants except those involved in the provision or delivery of emergency and essential services such as health personnel, Immigration and customs officials; the Malawi Police Service and others.
Government had designated December 23 2011 to January 6 2012 for the holiday and the civil servants were expected to report for duties on January 9 2012.
TUM secretary general Dennis Kalekeni described the holiday as a political proclamation, which would not affect teachers and the school calendar.
Said Kalekeni: Ã¢â‚¬Å“School calendars are planned in advance and every teacher is aware they have to report for duty on Tuesday. No teacher was taken by surprise because the festive holiday was not stipulated in our calendar.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology on Thursday published a notice in the local media informing all parents, guardians and the general public that the second term of the 2011/12 academic year will commence on January 3 2011. The notice asked all boarders to report to their schools on January 2Ã‚Â 2012 in readiness for classes.
Reads the notice: Ã¢â‚¬Å“All educational institutions and the general public are further being reminded that the school calendar is harmonised for all educational institutions, both public and private and all levels from schools to universities. No educational institution is, therefore, allowed to operate outside this academic calendar.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ministry officials were unavailable for comment on Thursday.