Acting District Education Manager for Zomba rural Towera Masoka Banda has irked her own members of staff following a string of controversial decisions on a number of administrative issues.
Banda who transferred to the district from Mulanje district few months ago oversees Primary Education Advisers (PEA) from the district’s 17 zones but they are all fed up with her administrative style.
According to sources, Banda has been ill-treating newly recruited Initial primary school teachers and has also been forcing human resource officer at the DEM’s to transfer workers without following procedures.
A source said the acting DEM has advised the administration office to create a post within the institution to accommodate her daughter who is working as an ODL teacher at Chikupira Primary school, a stone throw away from Zomba urban.
She told her junior staff that her daughter cannot work at the school because of a sickness she could not disclose.
But reports from Chikupira primary school where her daughter was working indicate that the teacher was ill-treating the pupils every day during classes that have also contributed to high ratio of school drop-out at the school gilrs she joined teaching there because learners in her class are afraid of the teacher.
During the allocation of teachers in different zones within Zomba district, as government policy, Open Distance Learning Teachers are supposed to teach in their place of birth or origin in order to curb the shortage of teachers in remotest areas.
In contrast, Banda has solely transferred those teachers from home areas to other far and impassable areas leaving those schools with no teachers, the development which has irked Primary Education Advisers in 17 zones since she ignored their inputs on how best the exercise can be carried out.
Banda has also been reportedly insulting and telling newly recruited teachers from both IPTE and ODL to resign if they cannot work where she has posted them.
She has been also telling Primary Education Advisers (PEA) that her decisions are final because she does not fear anyone even the Education Division Manager.
Some of the teachers who were denied transfers wanted to relocate on medical grounds and due to family matters for those married.
Others wanted to move because they have newborn babies and they have been posted to areas where there is no access to close health facilities.
One of the senior members in the ministry of education office in Mulanje said during her stay at the office, Banda was untouchable and most people were happy to learn that she had been transferred.
It is believed that Banda does not face consequences for her actions because she has she has connections at the ministry of Education.
Efforts to talk to Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Education Rebecca Phwitiko for comment on the matter but she could not be reached.