Primary school teachers holding diplomas and degrees petitioned members of Parliament (MPs) on Thursday to urgently intervene in their plight.
Their query came through twin petitions against their being stuck in primary school for years despite being qualified to teach in secondary school.
The teachers say in the petition they have not been promoted or moved to teach in secondary schools.
Dowa Ngala legislator Elias Chakwera (Malawi Congress Party-MCP), who also chairs the Parliamentary Committee on Education, read one petition, while the other was read by Salima North West MP Jessie Kabwila (MCP).
The teachers are disappointment that government has not recognised their qualifications which necessitate them to be promoted and posted either at teacher training colleges or secondary schools.
The petitioners say they have over the years requested many stakeholders, including the Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM), to reason with the government over the matter.
“From the time we graduated, we tried all means to push the government to consider us. But our efforts have proved futile. We also used TUM to engage the government on our behalf but the government decided to give a deaf ear to our cause.
“Having been left with no other option, we thought of your office as our last hope,” the petition reads in part,
In brief discussions, before the matter was referred to the parliamentary committee, MPs noted that the issue dates back to 2013, with government arguing that it cannot effect the promotions because there are no vacancies in teacher training colleges and secondary schools.
The MPs regretted the irony whereby some graduate teachers are unemployed at a time when the nation needs their services in schools.
In an interview, Chakwera said his committee will soon summon Ministry of Education, Science and Technology officials to explain why the long-standing issue has not been resolved yet.
He said given the country’s high pupil-teacher ratio, government should latch onto the opportunity of utilising the trained teachers.
“Just what is their problem, we wonder? If the ministry needs more resources, why does it not say so? I think, at this mid-term review of the budget, this is the time to convince us to lobby for more funds in order to make the ministry tick properly,” Chakwera stated.