Child Rights Organisation Calls for Swift Action on Teachers' Salary Saga

Injured: A child injured in fracas after police teargas Injured: A child injured in fracas after police teargas pic by Angela Mkandawire

Child rights activist, Jennifer Mkandawire, has asked government to immediately pay teachers’ December salaries to quell the violent demonstrations which learners are mounting in some districts in the country in protest that they are not learning.

Mkandawire said the violence is a direct result of frustrations at missing classes following the teachers’ on-going sit in. Some of the learners are preparing for exams.

Mkandawire, who is executive director for Foundation for Children’s Rights-FCR, feared that the situation would degenerate into uncontrollable chaos.

“Whatever is happening is because of a misunderstanding. Someone is not playing their role. That is why it is now affecting children,” she said.

The teachers’ protests are premised on delayed December salaries for about 5,000 teachers. The conflict is now heading into day-fourth with no definite end in sight.

Unlike Tuesday where learners from about five primary schools within Mzuzu city took to the streets demonstrating while clad in their school uniforms, on Wednesday protests by the learners turned nasty and violent punctuated with vandalism.

Braving the rains, the minors mostly between the ages of five and 13 moved around the city of Mzuzu stoning vehicles and shops.

Ugly scenes ensued when the learners started stoning the northern region police headquarters where police were forced to fire teargas to disperse the minors.

Northern region police spokesperson, Peter Kalaya, said the minors have damaged seven vehicles while two children got injured after falling off moving vehicles.

Kalaya says police expect receive more cases of damages from today’s protests.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 22/01/2020

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