February 23, 2017 by Staff Reporter
Parliamentary Committee on Education Chairperson Elias Chakwera said 23,000 teachers who were trained for primary school teaching are still waiting for employment.
Chakwera who is also Member of Parliament (MP) for Dowa Ngala said the number has increased due to the postponement of the 9,000 teachers who were left out when government recruited 10, 000 in 2016.
He was speaking in parliament Tuesday in support of the Mid-Year Budget Review for the approved 2016/2017 financial year budget.
Chakwera said postponement to employ teachers should not continue because people will continue to graduate and the numbers will continue to grow.
“The critical question that we should be asking is ‘do we really need to train teachers if we cannot deploy and employ them’ and ‘are we serious of not employing teachers when schools do not have enough teachers?
“As Chair of education I have received messages to say some schools have only two teachers against 400 pupils ‘what are we doing in education’,” asked Chakwera.
He said the budget in education sector is not enough to address problems of inadequate teachers, classes and learning materials among others.
“When we look at this budget, education wage bill has been increased and it is been said that the increase is because we are paying arrears. If arrears have been paid for teachers how come we still have outcry from teachers that their arrears have not been paid,” asked Chakwera.
He said recently the committee had threats from Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) that if there is no change on payments teachers would go on strike.
“We want to know whether teachers have indeed been paid arrears because information that I have is that a number of teachers have not been paid their arrears.
“In additional, the Ministry of Finance will have to explain to us why teachers who were promoted in May, 2016, have not started getting their new salary?
“This again is leading to accumulation of arrears. Last year during the revision we were told that teachers were going to be recruited and others to be promoted in April and indeed promotion took place but up to date teachers are not paid their new salaries,” explained Chakwera.
In his response, Minister of Education, Science and Technology Dr Emmanuel Fabiano said government will be recruiting teachers within the current financial year.-MANA