Government will press ahead with plans to interview applicants as secondary school teachers despite protests from several stakeholders in the education sector to convince it to abolish the policy.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (Moest) backtracked on the policy in July 2014 after the stakeholders pressurised it to abolish the interviews.
However, in a statement issued on Tuesday, principal secretary in the ministry, Lonely Magreta, said they intend to recruit 466 secondary school teachers and has advised interested candidates to apply when the vacancies are advertised in the media soon.
Reacting to the news, Teachers’ Union of Malawi (TUM) secretary general, Denis Kalekeni, described the move as a casual approach to education by the government.
Kalekeni said even though the ministry has said it has arrived at the decision due to limited space, he feels there is lack of transparency and accountability in the way the decision was made.
“It’s high time the government stopped experimenting with education. The truth remains that there is an acute shortage of teachers in the country’s secondary schools and to say they cannot employ all the teachers because there is no space for them is questionable,” said Kalekeni.
He cautioned the government to tread carefully on education as any hasty decision may result in long-term consequences.
Winding up debate on the Mid-Year Budget Review in Parliament on Monday last week, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe said the government is not obliged to employ all teachers and health workers trained in public institutions.
Gondwe said he had noted that members of Parliament had the general impression that it was Capital Hill’s responsibility to employ all health workers and teachers it trains, which he said had created undue expectations.
Meanwhile, according to Magreta, the ministry is also planning to promote 1 218 primary and secondary school teachers as one way of ensuring provision of quality, accessible and equitable education in the country.
Late last month, the government announced the automatic recruitment of 10 000 primary school teachers who are scheduled to start their work in April.