By Romeo Umali
Education activists in the country have bashed the Lazarus Chakwera administration for failing to resolve public school teachers’ grievances.
The teachers have been demanding Covid-19 risk allowances since February but government is refusing to give them the allowances.
Dr. Steve Shara, one of the Educationalists, elaborated that it is tragic that the government has reached such an extent of not considering the teachers. He also pointed out that recent demonstrations by primary school pupils in Mzuzu city are one of the indicators that on the government side, seriousness is lacking.
“It’s very unfortunate that the government has allowed things to get this stage. It looks as if there’s no interest in resolving this issue. The bigger worry are the children now, we are seeing them going on the streets and demonstrating, that is very dangerous as anything can happen. It’s all because on the government side there doesn’t seem to be seriousness,” Dr Shara explained.
In a response to a questionnaire, educationalist Dr. Limbani Nsapato said the resumption of the strike is disastrous, especially to national exam candidates and children with disability.
He asked the government to show it’s strong leadership to eradicate the problem.
“The strike will have catastrophic consequences on efforts to ensure access to quality education and especially in public schools. Among others, the strike will reduce learning time for learners and this will affect completion of the syllabus and preparations for exams especially for exam classes such as Standard 8.
“The most negatively affected will be girls, children with disabilities and children from rural remote areas who often have limited access to learning resources. The hide and seek attitude shown by government, Ministry of Education in particular, brings mistrust between employer and employee. It is therefore imperative for government to show its leadership by resolving the impasse as soon as possible,” Nsapato said.
TUM Chairperson Willy Malimba announced on Monday that teachers will resume striking as government failed to give them money that was supposed to be used for buying Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).
On Tuesday, there were no classes in many schools across the country as teachers stayed away. The situation angered learners who marched in the streets demanding government to resolve the issues.