Excluded teachers flood DEM offices for promotion claims

Malawi teachers

Primary and secondary school teachers are flooding District Education Managers (DEM) offices to file complaints after being overlooked for promotion.

A visit by this reporter to DEMs offices in Lilongwe saw teachers in their large numbers filling forms which have been provided with a hope that that their names would be included in the fresh list yet to be released after the first one had errors such as inclusion of deceased, retired, and resigned teachers.

Malawi teachers
some teachers have been overlooked for promotion

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Principal Secretary, Justin Saidi, attributed the error to an electronic system with assurance that the coming clean list will have all the problems rectified and give a chance to other teachers who were left out to find their way in.

One of the teachers who did not want to be named said government would have done better by promoting teachers who were employed in 1994 in their cohorts saying even though some were promoted to PT3 grades, more are still at PT4 and there is need to push those at PT3 to PT2 to create space to those coming from PT4 grade.

Chitsamiro said the 1994 teachers have spent 25 years at one grade describing it as an insult saying even these promoted will retire at PT3, a clear testimony that government has to shame itself.

She asked government to come up with a convincing explanation on the criteria used to select 1,549 primary and 4,719 secondary school teachers for promotions to dismiss claims which are being made that promotions coming ahead of elections are politically driven for teachers to vote for party in government.

The teacher warned government that if it fails to treat the issue of promotions in the interest of all teachers who deserve promotions, it should start packing up as teachers will not give it their votes for it to rule the country up to 2024.

Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) Secretary General, Charles Kumchenga said the Union is holding discussions with government on the way forward as it has been receiving complaints relating to the promotions noting that some names of teachers are appearing twice.

Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) Executive Director, Benedicto Kondowe, said government could have taken time to release the names of teachers promoted alleging that the whole process was rushed through.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology last promoted 12,000 teachers in 2013 during the reign of the Peoples Party government under Dr. Joyce Banda as President barely a year to the May,20, 2014 tripartite elections and 20,210 teachers have found their way for promotions a months before the May, 21,2019 tripartite elections.