The Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) says the ongoing strikes in the education sector signals that the sector is falling apart and that it might soon collapse if nothing tangible is done.
In a press statement issued yesterday, co-signed by Csec Board Chairperson Julie Juma and executive director Benedicto Kondowe, the organisation called on government to respect its obligation to promote and protect the right to education.
“It is regrettable that at the core of these strikes are rights of the pupils/ students and interests of the nation that ought to be safeguarded.
Sadly it has been an institutionalised practice by government to take time to address issues regardless of their intensity, sensitivity and urgency,” reads the statement in part.
Cses added that the mere fact that pupils in a number of districts are taking it to the streets suggests that there is growing anger by the pupils that their government is not doing enough to avert their plight.
“We cannot continue to play a blind eye to the obvious, even under tough economic environment that we find ourselves in, government must be seen to be honest with teachers and avoid hypocrisy and double standards. Any government that does not encourage education of its youth is directly compromising the future of the nation,” it says.
The organisation further called on the citizenry to hold government accountable and support policies and actions that demonstrate good intentions.
It also recommended that various unions should devise other means other than strikes to resolve grievances considering the negative effect frequent strikes have on students and the entire academic community.
Beside the standoff affecting public primary and secondary schools in the country, University of Malawi’s (Unima) Chancellor College (Chanco) remains closed as staff are demanding harmonisation of salaries between the college and other University of Malawi constituent colleges such as College of Medicine and The Polytechnic.
Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Science and Technology Emmanuel Fabiano disclosed in Parliament yesterday that a meeting has been called for this Friday, 16 June to try to bring together Unima Council, Chanco Academic Staff Union and officials to the table to resolve the six-month impasse.