By: Lackson Kanyoza
Government through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has assured teachers across the country that their grievances will be resolved before the given ultimatum expires.
This comes a day after Teachers union of Malawi (TUM) released a statement threatened to go on nationwide strike if the government would not resolve their demands.
TUM secretary general said both primary and secondary school teachers will go on a nationwide strike next month from 9th May.
Among the outstanding grievances, TUM cites issues of promotion and salary adjustments of teachers, the failure by MoEST to pay leave grants to public secondary school teachers for the 2015/16 financial year expiring on June 30 and delayed payment of salary arrears for primary school teachers.
But reacting to the call, spokesperson for the ministry, Manfred Ndovi described the move as unfortunate but was quick to disclose that the ministry plans to call for a meeting with the teachers’ representatives in order to resolve the issue.
“It’s very unfortunate that they have decided to down tools without engaging our ministry. However, we discuss the issues and map the way forward on how we can resolve the issue. So I hope before the deadline, we will have the issue resolved,” said Ndovi.
Ndovi further added that normally, when there are issues to do with an ultimatum, they raise a number of questions. Previously, they raised a number of grievances and some of them are already addressed.
For example, the issue of salary increments, there were some delays in paying the salaries to the teachers but now we have managed to decentralise the payment of salaries and the problem is now over.
“On the issues that they have raised, we will also find ways to resolve the matters and I am sure that we will find appropriate options that will please both TUM and the ministry,”he said.
In the petition, TUM also demands, The Minister of Education, Science and Technology Emmanuel Fabiano to retract the statement made through the print media that the ministry had withdrawn the said promotions because of a failure on the part of the teachers to report to their new duty stations.