Nation- wide Teachers' Sit-in Turns Nasty As Angry Learners Take to The Streets
The nation-wide sit-in by teachers has entered day three with now reported cases of leaners’ public protests and riots in reaction to the fact that they are missing classes.
The Teachers Union of Malawi has been blunt on the fact that no teacher will return to the classroom until the last of the 5,000 teachers whose December salaries had not been paid, confirm receipt of the said salaries.
Government did not pay the teachers on the premise that they had failed to make available their national identity cards which are being used to help flash-out ghost workers in the Malawi civil service which donors and others feel is obeys.
Education Principal Secretary, Justin Saidi, assured the teachers Tuesday that by close of business yesterday, the teachers would all have been paid the salaries.
“The Accountant General is processing the teachers’ salaries and by end of business today, all teachers will have their salaries in their bank accounts,” he said.
But that has not happened. Today in Mzuzu, Dowa and Lilongwe, learners have been out on the streets displaying dismay at the fact that they are no longer learning.
In Lilongwe, learners from Chinsapo travelled over 10 kilometres to the District Education manager’s office to present a petition on their grieviances where as in Mzuzu and Dowa district, that happened yesterday. In Dowa, the learners rioted.
Police had to be called in and used teargas to disperse the learners who had started pelting vehicles with stones on the M1 stretch between Madisi and Mponela.
Teachers Union of Malawi Secretary General, Charles Kumchenga, says if teachers are not paid, beginning today, all teachers will be holding vigils at Capitol hill.
“We will continue to go on sit-in. Teachers will hold vigils at Capitol Hill,” he said.