The Parliamentary Committee on Education (PCE) has disclosed that 23,000 teachers who were trained for primary school teaching are still waiting for employment.
This is according to chairpeson of PCE Elias Chakwera who is also Member of Parliament (MP) for Dowa Ngala.
Chakwera said the number has increased because 9,000 teachers were left out when government recruited 10,000 teachers in 2016.
The legislator was speaking in Parliament on Tuesday in support of the Mid-Year Budget Review for the approved 2016/2017 financial year budget.
Chakwera said delay to employ teachers should not continue because more teachers will be graduating and the numbers will 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 chairperson 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.
“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,” added Chakwera.
He said recently the committee heard threats from Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) that if there is no change on payments, teachers would go on strike.
The parliamentarian said he want to know whether teachers have indeed been paid arrears saying information that he has is that a number of teachers have not been paid their arrears.
He continued saying that the Ministry of Finance will have to explain to them why teachers who were promoted in May, 2016, have not started getting their new salary.
Chakwera added that this again is leading to accumulation of arrears saying last year during the revision they 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 have not been paid their new salaries.
In his response, Minister of Education, Science and Technology Dr Emmanuel Fabiano said government will be recruiting teachers within the current financial year.