Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) and Teachers Union of Malawi have cast doubt that government is going to stick to its plans to recruit over 9 000 teachers who have remained unemployed for two years.
The development comes after the Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST) issued a press statement informing the public that government has begun the recruitment process of Initial Primary Teachers Education (IPTE) 10, 11 and Open Distance Learning (ODL) 5 primary school teachers who graduated over 25 months ago.
The statement, which the ministry issued yesterday, also followed teachers’ threats to hold nationwide peaceful demonstrations if government does not address their grievances.
But during a media briefing in Lilongwe yesterday, Csec executive director Benedicto Kondowe described the move as a cosmetic initiative aimed at creating an impression that government is doing something in favour of the aggrieved teachers while in real sense it is just playing its usual rhetorical games.
He said Csec, as an organisation that aims at advocating for quality education at all levels in the country, is not yet convinced that government will employ teachers this time considering that it has been promising them the same song since they graduated in 2016.
Kondowe said: “All we would want to see are tangible actions which are aimed at showing Malawians that the process of recruiting teachers has started.”
According to the statement which the MoEST Principal Secretary Justin Saidi signed, the recruitment follows the passing of 2018/19 National Budget which caters for the employment of 10 000 primary and 500 secondary school teachers.
It says the recruitment takes into consideration all teachers under IPTE 10, IPTE 11 and ODL 5 cohorts which according to government adds to less than the allocation of 10 000 primary school teachers earmarked for employment in the 2018/2019 budget which many government critics branded as a ‘campaign budget’.
It reads in part: “This recruitment further takes into consideration Government’s commitment to reduce the high Pupil to Qualified Teacher Ratio [PQTR] between teachers and learners in the country with a goal of improving the quality of education, and also improving the welfare of our teachers.”