Times Group has come under fire over its ‘Impossible Demand’ headline which suggests that Government cannot afford to pay Malawi teachers K35,000 each in Covid-19 allowances.
The Daily Times newspaper published by Times today carried the headline ‘Impossible Demand’ in reference to teachers’ demand for risk allowances.
The report says Malawi Government employs about 101,000 teachers and would need K21.5 billion to pay each teacher K35,000 for six months. The newspaper compares that amount to the K23.7 billion allocated to Covid-19 since August last year.
Malawians on social media say the headline is an insult to teachers and will only heighten teachers’ anger.
Martin Kagona said: It’s simple, you make it “Impossible Demand” and then let schools remain closed. The problem of seeing someone less important it’ll surely worsen things. And also this kind of reporting will just add salt on the already paining wound. Let’s wait and see as we’ve started a third week now. In private schools they’re pushing their syllabus, while sons and daughters of the poor are suffering.”
Joseph Nixon Lupiya said: In other words, TIMES GROUP is communicating to us that teachers need not to be given; house allowances, Promotions, risk allowances remote allowances their basic salaries should not be hiked comfortably. Why? These people are too many otherwise, that would require billions of kwachas to sustain this which is utterly IMPOSSIBLE. TIMES GROUP enjoys seeing teachers living in an impoverished state.”
While SirPhonex James JW Phiri said: “How impossible? That 21 billion is not from Times group nor MCP (Malawi Congress Party). It’s government money. Remember education is the key to success. This means that it can’t be cheap. Without a teacher you wouldn’t have made those calculations. Shut up your mouth and wait for the government to react.”
Teachers have been staying away from work for over two weeks, demanding Covid-19 allowances. Government has been refusing to accept the demand. The government recently said teachers will be among workers who will be prioritised in the vaccination programme.