After close to two years of waiting, Initial Primary Teacher Education 8 (IPTE8) and Open Distance Learning 3 (ODL3) primary school teachers can now afford a smile because government has finally recruited them.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology says the teachers will be deployed in various education districts to fill existing vacancies in public primary schools across the country.
In a press statement released Tuesday, The Ministry said the 10 000 teachers will begin their work on April 1 2016.
In an interview, the ministry’s spokesperson Rebecca Phwitiko said financial challenges that led to the delay in deployment have been addressed.
“After consultations with treasury and Department of Human Resource Management and Development the Ministry had announced that these teachers would be recruited before the end of the 2015/2016 financial year. The stated date is within that,” Phwitiko said.
In August last year the teachers attempted a protest against government in Lilongwe for failing to recruit them but were blocked by the office of the District Commissioner in the city which claimed not to be aware of the planned protests.
One of the recruited teachers Yohane Phiri from Kasungu Teacher’s College told The Nation he was excited with the news and was looking forward to starting his job.
“It has not been easy waiting for close to two years but I am glad government has realised it is good to deploy us. I thank God Almighty that it has finally happened,” said Phiri.
The recruitment is expected to reduce the pupil-teacher ratio which is currently at 75:1 on average.
According to Phwitiko the ministry targets to reduce the ratio to 60:1.
The ministry is requesting the teachers to go to their nearest District Education Office or Teacher Training College to find out where they have been deployed. The teachers should then immediately report to the district where they have been deployed to fill GP1 Forms and undergo other recruitment procedures.