Most successful people, be it in business or at work are those who have learnt principles of negotiations. This is a characteristic that people should strive to possess. If one has good negotiating skills, they will end up with the best deals which can lead them to success.
With the coming of coronavirus in Malawi, and just like people in other countries, feel and know that their lives are at risk. This is why the government has put up measures to protect people from getting the virus.
Meanwhile, there are levels of risk. The highest level is in hospitals, which means doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel who are all the time in contact with Covid-19 patients. When these people asked for risk allowance and appropriate clothing, their request was well understood and government obliged. After this, some more groups have been coming out with their risk complaints to government. The latest have been teachers, who claim their lives are at risk of Covid-19 from learners. Therefore, they are claiming risk allowance from government. They have been claiming risk allowance through the Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM).
TUM has been negotiating with government for four months while the teachers went on strike by putting their tools down and in the process putting learners to ransom. The teachers’ strike had generally not been supported by most Malawians because it has jeopardised learners’ education. In fact, most people feel it would have been more meaningful if teachers would negotiate for better salaries than small requests here and there. It might not be surprising if they come up with a chalk allowance because of the dust from chalk.
Without doubt, the government seem not willing to accept teachers’ request because it does not want to create precedence which can trigger all manner of strange risk allowance claims.
Most organisations representing people should learn from TUM. For an organisation to be successful, it must be led by leaders who are able to negotiate. In so many cases the teachers have failed to achieve their requests. When choosing leaders, they should choose people who can stand their ground and not people who rush to apologise even when there is nothing wrong. Above all, they should not rush to hurting the innocent as they have just done to learners. This is a sign that they are scared to face real opponents such as government officials who can easily turn the tables against them.
Teachers in Malawi should know better that the standard of education is very low. It is unfortunate that they contribute to the low standards by their strikes. Indeed, the recent three months strike has left an indelible damage on the learners. Teachers are important, but that does not mean they should overrate themselves. There are equally important government sectors to teaching. People are much more interested with their service delivery and not how they can punish the society.
The Tonse Alliance administration is to forge ahead with development. It is only unfortunate that more time is spent in correcting mistakes made by the previous administration. It is unfortunate that some people come up with grievances for government to sort out such as teachers’ strikes and others.
The other bad habit in this country is to take advantage of the unfortunate situations such as drought and floods, which require government to come up with a budget to help the people. Stories are rife of people stealing money and creating shortfalls. Currently, there are reports about Covid-19 funds been stolen in millions. These are deliberate problems to derail government development plans. One can only appeal that those found guilty must appropriately be sent to jail.
This country can develop only if people can be on the same page with the leadership.