Education advocates ask Chakwera to declare Malawi a ‘state of educational disaster’


Some education advocates in the country have urged President Lazarus Chakwera to declare Malawi a state of disaster due to the standoff between government and teachers

The call comes amid a standstill in the education sector as government and the Teachers’ Union of Malawi (TUM) remain at loggerheads.

The two sides are failing to reach a consensus on the issue regarding provision of risk allowances to the latter.

Much as the teachers continue to implore government on the issue, the latter insists that such demands are baseless and threat to national economy.

The unresolved misunderstandings has led the teachers mother Union, TUM, to resume an industrial action it suspended some weeks ago after banking on government promises that teachers would be given moneys meant for purchase of their personal protective equipments (PPEs) instead of risk allowances.

“We agreed at a meeting we had with the parliamentary committee on education that they will honor that promise within stipulated time. Unfortunately, they rescinded the decision. This is taking teachers for granted,” said Willie Malimba, president of the teachers union, in an interview.

“We would like to warn government that this strike will only be called off once we get the money as a once off payment,” he added.

According to Stonard Dungwi, a retired teacher trainer, this is very worrisome and poses threat to quality of education in the country.

Dungwi stressed that regarding the already sickening education standards in the country, such developments are detrimental.

“Results of the recent MSCE have proven that things are not alright in the education sector. We needed to be serious and paid much attention to details. It’s worrisome,” he said.

Mosco Salamba, another education commentator urged the head of state to intervene swiftly on the issue.

“He must declare Malawi a state of educational disaster,” he said.

Meanwhile, some education advocates, including the civil society education coalition have demanded an immediate resolution of the standoff.