The Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) says the nationwide teachers’ strike, which started last week, will continue until the end of third term of the academic calendar in July unless government pays everyone their leave grants.
In an interview yesterday, TUM president Willie Malimba said parents and government should not expect teachers in public primary and secondary schools to take up chalk anytime soon because their dues are yet to be settled.
He said: “The problem with government is that they keep on changing tune every day. We expected them to act quickly, but their behaviour has really shown that they are not paying us any time soon. So, if they won’t, we will still not teach.”
Malimba further said it was sad that ever since the sit-in started last Monday, government has not made any efforts to meet them to map the way forward.
Opposition members in Parliament (MPs) took government to task over the issue, saying delaying the process of payment will affect most learners, some of whom are set to write their Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations starting this month end.
Making his comment on the proposed 2017/18 National Budget on Friday, MP for Dowa East Richard Chimwendo-Banda (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) asked government to explain what had been done to resolve the strike.
He described the situation as pathetic and cautioned government that it is sitting on a time bomb as people are tired with what is happening.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe said the process to pay teachers takes longer than expected, but assured the House that things will be finalised by Monday (today).